from Flashlight Stories by Rick Hilles

Rick Hilles just won the Whiting poetry award. With good reason.

[After so much build-up, who should
arrive but the little Thai delivery-man
with the white walrus mustache, the one

you always overtip because he is so old
and still delivering dumplings, chicken with lemon grass
on a rainy Friday night. The strangers

you’ve opened your doors to!
How many times have you held off sleep
just to think again of an idling car

where you could fall in love.
Or the jukebox in your favorite bar,
how it shoots sparkling pink and green

soda pop through its veins. You can never fill
yourself enough with your beloved, you think,
and it seems almost impossible to die.]