Andrew Villegas



Andrew Villegas is an editor at a public radio station in Denver, Colorado. He has worked as a reporter for several publications including Kaiser Health News, NBC's Breaking News, and covered local government and politics at the Greeley (Colo.) Tribune. His reporting work has been featured in The Washington Post, USA Today and heard on NPR. He holds English and journalism degrees from the University of Colorado in Boulder. His poetry has been featured and is upcoming in Glass: A Journal of Poetry. 


Grandpa Was A Cook, Not A Chef 

Sous Vide. Puzzled, the look from him, the first
time I realized that I had become separated

at the border of who I was from who
I am. We didn’t suck the air out of ourselves,

we didn’t dump us in boiling water, and not
just anyone drown us in those rivers. Those 

mornings, he diced onions, shed not tear, the sun
poured out on top of his head, he never had hair 

on his mind, he had onions. When he cut, he reused
bacon packaging, drank coffee that had sat at least 

one day; two more than likely near half-white twins
filled his kitchen. Did he think us unpure when we 

spoke english better than he? He tended to us often
then, breathlessly executing the day’s chore. Uttered 

not that word that radio, tv filled, but instead taught
food’s language: He kept stirring just so, but dumped it out 

hastily when finished, left sarcasm alone long enough
to learn us: I cook for it to be eaten; it is not art.



Piñon (The Desert)

You belong in the dry.
                           Your blood
is there. You belong among those                  who value ground and dirt. It is what they made
the most of when driving rain
                           stayed stuck in white clouds, recirculating high above cries.

The desert grows every day and,
                           your brain
is uniquely positioned to make sense of          that weed that may stay, and which must
be plucked to keep the choking out.
                           Allow no time to fret over lost crops: 

No amount of gnashing
                           your teeth or fists
against rocks will yield                                 ripe fruit from the field. Only work. Remember,
once driving out, see the piñon.
                           Remember the thick packs of their fruit delivered by special character now. 

Once a year,
                           your heart
fills with that you’ve been doing                    for thousands of years and which others work
at now, muling the seed north: Remember the shells stick
                           to the meat and you have to pick the brown off the white to get inside.

©The Acentos Review 2020