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Across the Kitchen Table / Hiromi Suzuki

The apartment was stopped the water supply for three days. Breakbeats could be heard from the club on the basement first floor through the ventilation fan every night during the holiday season. I became insomniac, so I went back to my parents’ home with the laundry that piled up.

When I am hanging out the washing on the balcony at the second floor, I can see the huge spaceships and jet-fighters flying in the dark overcast sky. I can’t drink alcohol today, but it’s okay. Because my Dad and Mom are staying by my side. As I am thinking of something to drink but alcohol, suddenly the battles in the sky have disappeared as if the film is cut off. Ah. A new brainwashing movement remodeled an enormous projector to show the movie of Armageddon in thick clouds. Yes, I know.

Little sister was hit the face by her boyfriend and has a bent nose. I enter her room and immediately she says, do not eat sweets on the bed. When you came back this summer, the fragments of half-melted candy bar had been hidden under the pillow. She gets angry, my sheets were full of ants crawling creepy.

It is still early for Christmas dinner, but Mom entertains the family with the usual homemade dishes as a nice supper. Stir-fried beef and green peppers, Sweet pumpkin salad, Mixed pickles made from cucumbers and carrots, Fish cakes with ginger soy sauce, Boiled Tōfu including mushrooms and garland chrysanthemum in a pot.

I wonder if Daddy has a bad stomach. Why is he coughing unnaturally? Dad coughs one time, Mom takes out one Empanada that was gifted by her friend who works at deli from the refrigerator. Daddy coughs one time. Mom serves one Chicken roll. Daddy coughs one time again. Mom puts out one roll again. Eating utensils overflow from a small kitchen table. In due course of time, Chicken rolls, conversations, and silence across the kitchen table are going to be a flood. I am swept away by the floody water, I slip off my chair. The surface of the table reflecting in my eyes becomes the horizon. My world always starts here.

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), Found Words from Olivetti (Simulacrum Press, 2020). Her short stories have been published in 3:AM Magazine, RIC Journal, Burning House Press, The Journal Petra, mookychick, and so on.
Web site: https://hiromisuzukimicrojournal.tumblr.com/
Twitter : @HRMsuzuki

This prose poetry is a part of the first poetry collection Ms. cried – 77 poems by hiromi suzuki (kisaragi publishing, 2013 ISBN978-4-901850-42-1). Across the Kitchen Table written in Japanese has been translated by hiromi suzuki, 2020.

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