The New Decade
I keep thinking there’s a piano nearby.
I keep thinking it’s my favorite song. It’s my favorite song!
Below the marquee, I arrange the marquee:
Happy New Year, buddy. Happy ’nother one, sweetheart.
Out of ways to call you dead, I decide to call you busy,
call you at midnight from West Oakland.
These days I raise a glass to make sure it’s empty.
Even when I was a drunk, I thought champagne was pointless.
In my two-story civility, I stick my head out
each window & scream. S’cuse me, s’cuse me,
I’m trying to remember a story about gold,
about a giant falling from the sky.
Someone once asked who I prayed to.
I said a boy with a missing front tooth.
In this order, I ask, first, for water,
which might mean mercy,
which might mean swing by in an hour
& I’ll tell you the rest.
If you were here we’d dance, I think.
If you were here, you’d know what to do
what to do with all this time
Copyright © 2021 by Hieu Minh Nguyen. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 4, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.