It Was January


and I still didn’t know you
well, but you stayed when I ran
into you at the chili place by campus
for lunch. One more drink, you said.

Do you remember? I told you,
I think I got roofied at a party in Houston.
You said I didn’t know that happened
to dudes, which made me not like you

very much. Your soft, uncomfortable chuckle
floating in the air. I delivered the line
I had prepared: With my luck,
it was probably meant for someone else.

In this interpretation, it was all just a misfire:
the powder that passed over my tongue
was meant for someone else’s beer,
which is why I was able to make it out

so easily. I am not a bullseye,
just a man who stood too close to a woman
who was seen as one. That way, I still
get to be a man, and—hold up, when

did I want that?

Anthony Sutton resides on Ouiatenon land (currently named Lafayette, IN) and has had work appear in Oversound, Puerto del Sol, Prairie Schooner, Passages North, Cosmonauts Avenue, Third Coast, and elsewhere.