Summer Barbecue with Two Men

Analicia Sotelo

A moon shaped like Billie Holiday, trembling

because there are problems other people have

& now I have them, too.

I’m wearing a cherry-colored cardigan over

a navy print dress, on purpose.

People think I’m sweet.

I try the Ancho chile pork ribs, in case

the man I once wanted might still

rub off on me.

I wonder if I’ll ever know about flavors, what

tastes right. In the overheated kitchen,

I chat briefly with a series of

30-something year old men — all slender, all

bearded, lustful to the point of sullen.

I hug & compliment

their pretty, female partners as a way of saying,

I am beautiful in my harmlessness!

Outside, people.

A circle of party chairs. I don’t care much

for a stranger’s guacamole. The man

I once wanted is grilling

these beautiful peaches. He offers some — I’m

embarrassed for the charred

scars. I try not to touch

his hand. I try to touch his hand. On the porch,

another man I know is kissing

the shoulder of a woman

whose fiancée is here somewhere. Guess what,

he says. You’re the only one who cares.

I wouldn’t have guessed:

Judgment is a golden habañero margarita

with wings, wet & cold

on his chest. So

many people are tender from the right angle.

I’m hungry & confused. Save me.

I love a good barbecue.

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