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To Go

by Kirk Shimano

There is barely enough room on the table


for our plates. We phoned the regular place
but forgot that our regular order had changed.

How can we eat


without the sickening sight
of Grandpa smothering his rice in Heinze ketchup?

There is a distinct absence


of misinformation
in the dinner conversation.

Grandpa’s hearing aide rests


forever in a quiet drawer,
but Grandma still repeats all the words loudly, hoping.

The chile singes the tastebuds


but it lacks flavor, or texture, or happiness,
or something.

We put the extra chorizo in a doggie bag


and place it, carefully, on the obutsudan
hoping that the ants won’t get to it,
trying to remember how Grandpa would take a corn tortilla
and scoop up the last of refried bean,
consuming the final morsels of the meal
and leaving no regrets.