Robert Okaji





One minute you’re sipping coffee at the stoplight,

and the next you find yourself six miles


down the road, wondering how you got there,

just two exits before the French bakery


and your favorite breakfast taco stand.

Or while pondering the life of mud,


you almost stomp the brakes when a 40-year old

memory oozes in—two weeks before Thanksgiving,


the windshield icing over (inside), while most definitely

not watching the drive-in movie in Junction City, Kansas,


her warm sighs on your neck and ear, and the art

of opening cheap wine with a hairbrush. How many


construction barrels must one dodge to conjure these

delights, unsought and long misfiled? You turn right


on 29th Street and just for a moment think you’ve seen

an old friend, looking as he did before he died,


but better, and happier, and of course it’s just a trash bag

caught in a plum tree, waving hello, waving goodbye.


Robert Okaji is the author of the chapbook If Your Matter Could Reform (Dink Press), and the micro-chapbook You Break What Falls (Origami Poems Project). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Otoliths, Posit, riverSedge, Into the Void, Postcard Poems and Prose, Eclectica, Panoply, and elsewhere. He lives in Texas.