Watching the Bobby Flay Barbecue Marathon

I’m lying in bed in same-day surgery
watching the cooking channel.

Bobby Flay dismembers a chicken
coats each piece with buttermilk.

I’ve had nothing to eat or drink for 15 hours. Staff bustles
in and out asking questions, giving directions.

Bobby Flay massages flour into the chicken parts
comments on the healthy size.

The nurse ties a florescent tourniquet
on my forearm, taps the gnarly network

of veins on the back of my hand
looking for a plump one,

one that will not roll.
Veins will jerk away from the needle,

like I want to.

She’s good, finds one and jabs. Hooks up the I.V.
Bobby Flay muddles mint and cilantro leaves

adds simple syrup, lemon, tea, and ice, sips.
The nurse offers me a green swab to suck.

The anesthesiologist shakes my hand.
Her breath smells like coffee.

She looks at my chart.
I can see this isn’t your first rodeo.

The O.R. nurse checks his cell phone.
I scramble onto the table,

pulling the hospital gown away from my throat.
I awake back in bed.

Bobby Flay is grilling peaches.

back to issue