by Aaron Caycedo-Kimura

Just as I remembered—Michelle Pfeiffer eyes, Meryl Streep nose and lips. We sat across the table from each other in a group of theater people. Caliente Cab Co., New York City. I knew you in San Francisco, I said. Explained that years ago, I played percussion for Godspell, the musical you directed. I remember a violinist named Rick, you said, squinting. My conservatory classmate—tall, platinum swoosh of hair, smile like a cymbal crash. He wasn’t in the show, I said, but we were together all the time. I was the one with the conga. I mentioned you and John—the guy who played Jesus—were sort of dating, that during the show’s run, a storm shattered your windows, shredding your waterbed, and that your grandfather from Sardinia loved casu marzu, maggot cheese. Eyes frozen, mouth open, you snapped out of the moment when the waiter warned us the plates were hot. A sip of margarita and you turned to your burrito—salsa verde on the side—and the chatter about Phantom at the end of the table. I ate my chimichanga de carnitas. Browsed the artwork on the walls.

Aaron Caycedo-Kimura is the author of two poetry books: the full-length collection Common Grace
(Beacon Press, 2022) and Ubasute, winner of the 2020 Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Competition. His honors include a MacDowell Fellowship, a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship, a St. Botolph Club
Foundation Emerging Artist Award, and nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net
anthologies. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, Plume Poetry, Cave Wall, and elsewhere. Aaron is also the author and illustrator of Text, Don’t Call: An Illustrated Guide to the Introverted Life (TarcherPerigee, 2017).