the smiley barista remembers my name
beauty on earth so blue, even the cheese flowers
a culture with no democracy… Yesterday (for example),
I ate the same sandwich I eat every week: eggplant
roasted in red pepper aioli, a focaccia jammed full
by arugula, capers sweaty in browned butter. How
have I come to love routine? I’m thirsty and abashed.
The fabric of my childhood underwear triple axles in the wind—wow.
The whole neighborhood watches me do emails, go to therapy: she shed
revenge for forgiveness. I said it, “i forgive you” slipping
like a key beneath a door, where never was a house attached.
Is it beauty on earth, so blue? Each side stalled, you are touched.
Withstanding the sun, its fat macula borne down grips
(i wish! i saw! i fear! i heard! i dream) like an emotion.
This is not a feeling. This can be, I think, a conversation.
Wo Chan, “the smiley barista remembers my name” from Togetherness. Copyright © 2022 by Wo Chan. Used with the permission of Nightboat Books.