We met Frank Pizza at hibachi;
He was our host and held the door.
When he requested our leftovers
and laughed, pulling out his license
to prove to us the authenticity of
his name, I stood silently, unsure:
Why did that entitle him to our food?
Our second hibachi trip was a quest –
More party members this time around,
and I was sure to share the legend
of the one and only, infamous Frank Pizza
during the journey there.
Awaiting a table, Frank Pizza found us,
rewarded one of us with an origami
dragon, small enough to fit in one’s palm.
Many months later, hibachi has been defeated,
not by us or Frank Pizza or the dragon itself.
Instead, COVID-19 ravaged our safe haven,
uprooted those familiar grills,
left us nowhere to catch shrimp in our mouths.
Frank Pizza got laid off, and all we have left
are our leftovers
and our origami dragons.
Melissa is a short fiction writer with fiction in Zanna Magazine, Jalada Africa’s “Bodies” anthology, Analogies and Allegories, Pretty Owl Poetry, and Dime Show Review. She received her Master’s in English with a focus in Creative Writing from Seton Hall University.