It is 12:37 in the morning, Tuesday, May 20th, and I am filled with meat and blood and happiness.

The poor-man’s steak is an art;

The packaging, a contradiction, emblazoned with the separate labels:

“USDA Top Choice Sirloin”, followed by “Extreme Value!”

Top choice for the bottom shelf.

I squish the steaks in their plastic wrap, searching for I-Don’t-Know-What

Cancer, probably. The sensation is cathartic.

These are thick-ass sirloins, bite-your-bottom-lip-fine-looking-on-the-dance-floor cuts

A night in the marinade (hand-ground chipotle sauce, black peppercorns, half of a Dos Equis),

keeps that shit so juicy you can cook it long enough to get a tender medium-rare without

fucking the outer layers into hockey-puck charcoal oblivion.

It tastes like pipe smoke, blood, peppers, and cheap beer, like home in the summer.

Doesn’t sound elegant, because it’s not

It’s carnal, carne, fuck-ing meat.

With some garlic mashed potatoes and fresh sweet corn, it’s blue-collar America on a plate

A knife’s edge between the darkening street and the whitewashed porch,

Evening light flickering with hummingbird moths.

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