kansas city barbeque

men toss split logs in the pit,

fire and smoke and sparks,

forks, slicers, and knives


at the barbeque joint,

the ancient desire

for fire in the night


the man at the register

pickles, slaw,

and piece of a pie


fries, ham and beef sandwiches

sausages, short ends, long ends, chicken—

quarter and half


customers in worn boots, neckties,

exurb voyeurs, families,

tourists, and executives


meat piled high,

drowned in sauce,

swallowed in minutes


we stretch bellies taut

eat until our eyes roll back—

surely this is prosperity

Published by

Patrick Dobson

Patrick Dobson was founded in 1962. He is a writer, scholar, ironworker, and poet who lives in Kansas City, MO. He is author of two books with the University of Nebraska Press, Seldom Seen: A Journey into the Great Plains (2009) and Canoeing the Great Plains: A Missouri River Summer (May 2015). Dobson is a work in progress until termination.

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