First Friday – Penn Avenue, January 2020

After browsing the galleries we eat barbecue at Soju,
share plates twenty bucks each. We discuss the art

being hearts that keep us beating. I am realizing
my canvas might be smaller than my desire,

that there’s a limited amount of acrylic to be squeezed
from my eyes. Such is the pollen in azaleas plucked

by honeybees, fuzz on breezy days I try to catch.
Every wish is a wild one, based in basking in the sun

naked among a common herd. I like it when you hand
me your gold-ringed plate and insist I eat a chunk

of katsu chicken and Korean poutine. When you pour
a shot of cherry soju in my glass, and insist I try to lose

myself, I look everywhere for the sweet rice cake, but
it is draped in gochujang, ruby as the thin rare innards

of the sirloin bulgogi, ruby as the passing cars’ brake
lights, glancing off the concrete in the rain.


(originally published in The Headlight Review, Spring 2020)

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