There’s a lot of Texas tradition that don’t need passing down—segregation, gerrymandering, carbon extraction. But BBQ ain’t one of those things. All groups embraced. Off-cuts made tasty by immigrants. Barbacoa, Polish sausage, African spice rubs. Mesquite smoke permeating a roadside joint. Primal smell, timeless worn timber. Pitmasters of all shades, their reputations earned plate by plate. Rundown shacks become temples of reverence, pulling pilgrims for miles. Crunch of tires in gravel parking lots. Harley hogs, farm trucks, Priuses lined side-by-side. Shared picnic tables. Satisfied grunts and nods. Where ya’ll from? Not like in the movies—narrowed eyes, note of menace—just making conversation. Members of the flock, in a chapel of smoke.
Sean Winn came to writing late in life and, as such, does not have an MFA or much in the way of formal training. Nonetheless, his work has started to appear in a number of literary magazines over the past year, most recently in Pangyrus, Rappahannock Review, and Halfway Down the Stairs. After living in Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia, he now calls Austin, Texas home. Find him on Twitter @SeanWinn_