Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill

by Rena Rossner


The BBQ is on, I hear the hiss
of gas and flame, the clatter of tools
wooden-handled, spatula, tongs, fork,
skewer, brush, and his hands, caressing
wings, breasts, thighs, juicy, marinating.
See how he prods the beef? Patties that
melt at his touch, fatty, succulent, and
vegetables, round, perfect, skewered
kebab-style, glistening, brushed with oil,
extra-virgin, seasoned, sprinkled with salt,
pepper, rubbed gently with cloves of crushed
garlic. The beer bottle next to him sweats
and leaves her mark – rings of condensation
on the wooden sideboard, the clink
of his gold band against the glass, his lips
puckered over the rim as he takes a sip.
I watch from inside how his adam’s apple bobs.
I toss: vodka shots, coleslaw, massage
butter into ears of corn, line chip baskets
with napkins: paper, red-checked, grease-
stained, and slice pickles, long and thin.
Then I squeeze lemons into lemonade, stir
in sugar, spike with rum, and add
ice cubes, one by one. I watch them
float.

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