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!
X. Hijo, Please

I don’t like it when you say things
and you mean them. Cosas como
‘no,’ ‘I don’t care,’ and ‘ya.’
As if you want to go into another world.
Yo recuerdo when you were chiquitito:
you would eat tomatoes with picatitos
that wore away el piel,
chunky jugo trickling out.
You would never talk,
masticando tomatoes to the center,
never blinking, a stain of pulp roja
remained around tu cheeks y teeth.
Nunca did you make efforts to clean it off,
so I leaned in to wipe your face
and I would laugh and smile and say
mi niño, niño mío.
Below I share some of the sketches and concepts I explored for this poem and how the illustration was created layer by layer of color.

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