Summer Barbecue with Two Men
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!
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.about the author