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dawn barcelona

chicken sashimi

The salmonella - it’s rising.


If our chicken was stored properly,

we wouldn’t be dying.


The waitress keeps coming back to check on us:

we are still holding each other close --

our dinner is coming up one more time
you rub my back and I rub yours
and we share the sacredness
of a toilet’s mouth opening deeply,

receiving our heaving, listening to us
take turns releasing our meat --


In the corner of a farm was the one chicken

we received - dead too long but not long enough

to be stored below freezing.

It knew before its throat was slit that we
were waiting for it. A man with his tongue taut
took it by the neck and drew a clean line
the water below was hot like the fever
swaddling salmonella in our stomachs
blood and water and acid churning again --

If it was your wish to impress me,
it was mine too. It wasn’t so much about the food.
I’d do it all again just to lean into that porcelain mouth
before pushing these words out:


16 May, 2022

Dawn Angelicca Barcelona is a Filipina-American poet based in San Francisco. She’s been published in sPARKLE and bLINK, Killing the Angel, and Fulbright Korea Infusion. She is a Fulbright Korea alumna and curated the music and performing arts showcases ffor Kearny Street Workshop's APAture Festival in 2021. She likes to dance, talk about mental health, and travel via public transportation.

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