Kevin Madrigal Galindo
Kevin Madrigal Galindo is a food justice advocate that is reimagining health with ancestral Mexican cooking. He is a first-generation Chicano hijo de su chingada madre from South San Francisco by way of Zapopan, Jalisco. Kevin’s work has been featured in The Boiler, Bozalta, The San Franciscan, & Edible East Bay. His first chapbook Hell/a Mexican is out now(!) with Nomadic Press.
Kevin shines light on the comunidad whose work supports countless American lives. In his free time, you can find him feeling his feelings to highly curated R&B playlists.
Poem on Belonging
after Terrance Hayes
I come from a long line of code-switching enunciations
Gualmar, Cosco, Estánfor, & Piksa Hoot all in my neighborhood
& matter of fact all of my gente work there.
I come from a thousand laps ran with Payless kicks
legally counterfeit backward swooshes y mas barato
I am three parts pan dulce, two parts la chancla
scars and one part communion wine.
I’m from “hijos de su chingada madre” straight out
the hocico of mi chingada madre. Phrases as sacred, aftermath not
calculated till A+’s in algebra & English teacher scolded parents
nuisance & unfocused & illiterate & diction deficient
“hijo qué dijo tu maestra” y “nada, no te preocupes” translating signs
from English to Spanish soon as I learned to breathe. CA my home
they say it’s empathy’s fault that causes these quakes. My ancestors
whispered in my ear to unfinish degrees advised otherwise, true to blood
that circulates through these frijolero veins.
I’m from a technicality, youngest in my family
miscarried unmet sister would have beared a beautiful
first communion dress, instead it was me. My search history reeks
of fermented agave & missing names + obituary. South City &
Zapopan raised me. Dutch crunch sandwiches & tortas ahogadas would test positive
in my curly hair, if my culture was considered a drug; a threat. Which it is. I come
blessed like the 15 Virgen de Guadalupes found in my home. They say I never stay put
& yet laid me in a crib. When the morning came I was out the door crawling,
walking, running & I haven’t stopped since.
Copyright © 2022 by Kevin Madrigal Galindo. This poem originally appeared in Hell/a Mexican (Nomadic Press, 2022). Used with permission of the author.
Co-Founder, Farming Hope, a non-profit organization dedicated to the therapy, skill training, and personal development for unhoused, low-income people, and segments of the population facing discrimination regarding employment acceptance.