Two Poems by Dylan Tran






Sorting Through Mail at a Senior Home

I make small piles on my desk
To separate the residents 
Who have passed and those still waiting
For letters that they’ll throw away. 

Envelopes sticky in my hands, 
The weight of the dead has brushed my shoulders. 

Of those that have recipients, 
I line them neatly between my fingers, 
As magazines and flyers try
To carve my webbings papercuts, 

But the sandy edges have been dulled
By the neglect that comes with age.

And order matters, too. The ones
Who can hear my knocking are first, and I leave
The man who reminds me of my grandpa
For last, my conscience too afraid

Their ghosts will look the same to me, 
That this poem, too, will end prematurely.


It doesn’t matter 
           If my background fits the mold
                     When my dad works here.

These are words I wish
           I could say with confidence,
                     And truth, as a bold

Intro and outro
           To the perfect interview.
		      To those on the fence

Before our meeting,
          Just relax. I look forward
		    To working with you.

Use me as you please,
          But beware, you’ll get more use
		 Out of a cheese board.

When I click on Zoom,
          I try to fix my floral
                    Tie. Its noose is loose.
If my dad really 
          Worked here, I could throw away
                     This tie called morals.
Poet Dylan Tran, an Asian man with suit jacket slung over right shoulder wearing white shirt and black pans with dark checkered tie.

Dylan Tran is a Pushcart-nominated Chinese American poet based in Washington, DC. He strives to uplift the Asian American voice in literature, while walking the fine line between culture and otherness. Outside of writing, Dylan can be found working a diverse handful of jobs, from activities programming at a senior home, to curatorial work at the National Museum of American History, and more. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Volume, El Portal, Dipity Literary Magazine, and elsewhere.

Image: “Enveloppes des lettres de Clotilde de Vaux à Comte” by Kurebayashi under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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