Really nice meeting you sorry
I have to hurry off there’s this thing
happening this thing I must do
you too yes dying is the thing
everyone is not talking about it
why ruin karaoke night why discolor
the air between you and the bartender
hello what can I get for you
it’s miraculous we’re here and then
the world is yanked from us and then
time dismantles our bodies to dust
okay um can I help the next customer
see it would be awkward
let’s not bring it up mum’s the word
come on now we’ve still got
some living to do pick up that trumpet
I’ve got mine already never mind
we can’t play any instruments
the point is to make a sound
any sound in this endless parade
shimmering toward silence.

Copyright © 2018 David Hernandez. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Winter 2018.

I just did
wat I talked about doing

wen we wuz visiting
on da smartphone.


You told me

wat you wuz eating 
foa breakfast da adah day

and it kinnah inspired me.


Da last time
I ate French Toast

wuz wen I wuz living
in Hawaiʻi years ago.


So I wen actually
make some dis morning

and I topped 
da tasty slices off 

wit some kinamona
and some Ohio maple syrup.


I’m eating right now

while I’m tinking 
about you

and looking at wun picture
of our parents 

on my living room tabletop.


It’s just like

I’m in da yellow kitchen
up in Wahiawa Heights

at da old house.


Da hoʻomanaʻo is ʻono.

Da French Toast
is pretty good too.

Copyright © 2022 by Joe Balaz. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 2, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.