Thursday, February 15, 2007


Heavy dark slabs of beef ribs, pork ribs, are smoked in the kitchen where I work.
The hot thick smoke from the cooking meat, presses up against me.
It licks me up and down, like hot breath from an open mouth.

I wear a thin t-shirt with a grinning pig on the front, a pair of shorts and a dirty, sauce-smudged apron.
Hot in the alder-smoked corner, my small hands hot and wet, make dirty white dishes clean.

As I slide my hands through the slaw and sauce, thick and pungent,
As I shove big bones into the fleshy piles of trash,
As I stack, sort, and slam heavy plates,
I know that what I am doing is satisfying. It is gritty and real and tangible.
Six hours of escape.

I drive home sticky.
All of the kitchen clings to me.
The scent of sewage from the river rushes through the car.

I start up the carpeted stairs with the night weighing me down, the dishes and beef, the sour slaw, the dark thick beans, the smoke, the labor.

I make it to the shower, where the tiles are a soft warm beige, like clean skin.
I watch the water come to a cloudy steam as I peel off the sweat-saturated shirt, shorts. Unhook the clinging bra, push down the underwear.
I watch the pure white steam billow out from the open window into the dark hanging sky. It drifts away weightlessly.

I step in and let the water run through my hair and down my face, down my arms and back and thighs.
Six hours of smoke, meat, sweat, and sauce, slip off my skin.


L said...

i read this last night on your other blog actually. it's an entertaining read. it's almost like reading porn... not that... i would know... but it's the hot, flesh, sticky, steamy, chunks of meat. so many S sounds and powerful consonant sounds. it's sso ssenssual, even when i guess it's really not supposed to be, and kind of gross. all that meat, skin, pressing, moving here and there, thin clothes, heavy weight, peel, shower.

i think you should call it "Hot Meat." and maybe think about moonlighting in a certain "literary" field...

shara said...

haha, yea. gross and dirty but delicous.

i wont quit my day job.

wait. i dont have a day job.

my poems, because they get into the nitty gritty of textures and smells and weights and all of that, tend to lean in the sensual/sexual direction, even if i'm talking about... dish washing. or drinking soup.

i decided to just go with it this time, not try and hide it.

i might have pushed it too far in the porn direction in certain parts.

L said...

don't worry, i was only kidding about the porn thing. it really didn't go that far.

mat said...

i smell testosterone