The Old Man and the Mime

A mime fell to the floor and pretended he was dead. A young couple walked by. They stared and pointed but continued on their way. Then a butcher walked by. He tugged on the mime’s sleeve. After no response, he too continued on his way. Then an old man walked by. He clapped his hands beside the mime’s ear. No response. Then he shouted into his ear. Nothing. Finally, the old man lay on the floor, with the mime, and pretended he was dead.


The Rose Bush

A man plucked an orange rose from a bush, smelled it, and then burst into flames. The flames eventually died out. Ash. Later, the man’s daughter came looking for him. All she found were scattered ashes. The girl then walked up to the bush, picked a blue rose, and smelled it. She quickly turned into water and splashed to the floor. She washed away the ash.



Jose Hernandez Diaz is a 2017 NEA Poetry Fellow. He holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and Antioch University Los Angeles. His work appears in The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Green Mountains Review, Huizache, New Orleans Review, North American Review, The Progressive, Witness, among others. He has served as an editor for Floricanto Press and Lunch Ticket. His manuscript was a finalist for the 2018 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. He tweets at @JoseHernandezDz.