I was invited to illustrate three beautiful poems by poet and writer Reyes Ramirez, for the Fall '23 Gravy No. 89 - by Southern Food Alliance and published by Hub City Press.

This is the poem that inspired this illustration. Enjoy!

the pupusa is a portrait
  of an honest earth:
    the coarse burns continents,
  the auroral dough a sea.
water joined masa through tumult
  & sphered, flattened then crowned,
    filled with meat & milk then smoothed,
  heat birthed & bitten.
no, the pupusa is an homage
  to the laborer’s backhand
    where scars simmer & settle,
  strawberry skin browns.
sweated flesh crackles on steaming metal,
  grease singing smoke loud then sweet over & over,
    flipped & rested, an iris weepy then dry,
  ashen islands form & a back stiffens.
no, the pupusa is a documentation
  of every pecado,
    the taut pink palate
  a receipt for indulgence.
a sheet of young wood pulp dims,
  then an emergence of weighty shadows.  
    a sycamore pith rises & splits
  & spits a globe of queso.
no, the pupusa is a bulging mirror
  to this sleepless face. examine
    the wrinkle bowls under each eye & find
  another tired eye under another tired eye.
the cream sol bulges then sombers,
  sunspots & scabs black;
    what can this light nourish
  but a body ripe with eonic exhaustion?
no, the pupusa is a portrait
  of this life, crusting & breaking
    with every lick & tooth, the desire & gift
  of jarabe yielding to the shape of a belly.
crack open the soft disc egg
  & study its ivory thick blood & tender marron,
    stretching like a timeline of grief,
  & lap the fresh veins.
These are some of the sketches and creative process to create the illustration. From pen on paper to the procreate on the ipad.

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