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Do you eat barbecue in the UK? We enjoy it in the USA


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This was in my daily poetry mail. It resonated with me because I tend to admire girls with red hair. And I like barbecue ribs. Full rack or half rack. We eat it with greasy fingers.



Half-Rack at the Rendezvouz


by William Notter


She had a truck, red hair,

and freckled knees and took me all the way

to Memphis after work for barbecue.

We moaned and grunted over plates of ribs

and sweet iced tea, even in a room of strangers,

gnawing the hickory char, the slow

smoked meat peeling off the bones,

and finally the bones. We slurped

grease and dry-rub spice from our fingers,

then finished with blackberry cobbler

that stained her lips and tongue.


All the trees were throwing fireworks

of blossom, the air was thick

with pollen and the brand-new smell of leaves.

We drove back roads in the watermelon dusk,

then tangled around each other, delirious

as honeybees working wisteria.

I could blame it all on cinnamon hair,

or the sap rising, the overflow of spring,

but it was those ribs that started everything.


"Half-Rack at the Rendezvouz" by William Notter, from Holding Everything Down. ? Crab Orchard Review & Southern Illinois University Press, 2009. Reprinted with permission.

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