The Absence over a Long Period of Time / Hiromi Suzuki

It was a small office in a glass-walled building that made me feel like I had come several times in the past. I started working in this company yesterday. At my desk, a lot of invoices were waiting for me. Underneath the envelopes of last month, I could recognize the other pile of documents had been accumulated for three years or so. I knew what I should do. I finished to check the expiry date and the interest rate on borrowing. I put the documents with acknowledged signs in each envelope. What I had to do today was to take the envelopes to the post office. At noon, the boss hurriedly went to diner near the office. He was my employer. I was bored to have too much free time until my friend introduced me to him. The employees shut down their computers and left their desks following the boss. I did not go to lunch. The glass-walled fortress was wrapped in the mist quietly. Out of curiosity, I opened the email box on the boss’ desk. His unread emails were piling up. There was an urgent message. The mail sender was my name. But I did not remember. I noticed that I had nothing to do with her, the email sender. The employees came back to the office after finished their meals. I was supposed to go to the post office across the main street but the boss called my name. I was startled, though I understood it meant nothing especially. Come with me to the rooftop warehouse. Just a prefabricated warehouse. He said nervously while coming close to me.

4, 5, 6, … 12…24, 25, 26… The boss averted his eyes from the blinks of elevator indicator. The elevator was rising towards the sky. A thin light was shining through the gap in hazy air. The Sumida River was flowing under the transparent floor of the cage. I wish I was boarding on a jet plane, which flies over the Seine. My soliloquy spilled out in the silence. The elevator was filled with the scent of his perfume and the moisture from the river. In the distance, the train horn sounded a signal.

As the boss opens the door of warehouse, wet envelopes overflow on the concrete rooftop. The boss leans on the fence rusted with drops, spreads his arms and shouts suddenly.

All the letters were sent from you!

Tokyo Tower can be dimly seen beyond the city.

Memories. These are the memories of you, boss.

The documents in the envelopes are just the invoices that had been accumulated. It is understandable to anyone. The boss as a daydreamer dreaming of the Eiffel Tower instead of the Tokyo Tower is about to flap his wings hidden inside the double-vented suit jacket.

I wonder if I loved you for a long time. I recall your love just now. He says.

No. We encounter each other just now for the first time.

I feel hungry.

hiromi suzuki is a poet, fiction writer and artist living in Tokyo, Japan. She is the author of Ms. cried – 77 poems by hiromi suzuki (Kisaragi Publishing, 2013), logbook (Hesterglock Press, 2018), INVISIBLE SCENERY (Low Frequency Press, 2018), Andante (AngelHousePress, 2019). Her works have been published internationally in poetry journals, literary journals and anthologies.
Web site:
Twitter : @HRMsuzuki

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