I say,

“Put the cheese on first,”

To a white employee.

Then she’s too hesitant to know how to make a Taco;

So her manager proceeds to say,

“Only the good ones know that.”

Affirming that the cheese goes on first.

Mine fell apart at Taco Bell

For precisely that reason,

And at the Moes, they threw lettuce on it first.


At the restaurant in Baltimore they didn’t have cumin

Or really any Taco seasoning.

As the great chef Aarón Sánchez would say,

“This is not a Taco.”

Trust me, I understand that sentiment completely.


I suppose if anything were truly wrong with us…

It’s that we don’t do our jobs right

Nor understand simple traditions.

Nobody tells the little black boy behind the counter

That the cheese goes on first.

The little white boy grins and says with contempt,

“You hadn’t told me you wanted cheese on it first.”

The restaurant is a mess, with pieces of lettuce and napkins everywhere.

Understand the actual reality would be considered racist,

Though I don’t intend it to be so

I cannot tell the truth in this instance

Of who really threw the lettuce on first.


It’s a principle as old as time.

Something needs done.

Learn the process of doing it right;

And let the truth be told

So people can have more fulfilling lives

Black or white.

Because on a Taco, the cheese goes on first

And only the good ones know that.


Cheekily, I can imagine that boy reading this

And saying, “Aha, I did put the cheese on first!”

But then he put the lettuce on,

Which is the most backward taco of them all.

It goes cheese, meat, and then everything else

So not to confuse, because the Cheese,

As the manager puts it,

“Makes a seal.”

I think like slow cooking a roast beef

It just makes the tastiest results.

And I think most people would agree

After trying it.

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