J.D. Isip


Tragedy is a violence of smiles.
-Christopher Arigo

Lunch was the worst. Congratulations!
A banner adding to the others at the El Torrito
drinking Coronas like carefree twentysomethings
looking nothing like in cheap slacks, women
slapping the table after one drink
the hilarity of a story involving

Roberta’s sister so-and- so
and, well
You know who. Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha.
“The man of the hour!” all glasses raised
great, great joy, great, great good cheer
like pirates or Vikings contented
to the current plunder

and dreams of mutiny. “I just want to say
I could not have done it without…”
Everyone whoops, louder and louder
so sure it is he or she whose name
will hang off of the flaccid end
of the acknowledgment.

“Hey, awesome job,” some face says
and he takes it, like he has all day, smiling.
Cell phone buzzing, buzzing – third time
in the last hour.
“You got it didn’t you?”
“Please don’t leave.”


J.D. Isip’s academic writings, poetry, plays, and short stories have appeared (or will appear) in a number of publications including The Louisville Review, Changing English, Revista Aetenea, St. John’s Humanities Review, Teaching American Literature, Te Citron Review, Poetry Quarterly, Scholars &Rogues, Mused, and The Copperfeld Review. He is a doctoral student in English at Texas A&M University-Commerce.