Kazuya Yamamoto worked
at the sushi bar, cutting perfect
sashimi for the society elites
with their fat wallets and
ultra-gold credit cards.
They filed in and out, for 10 years
while he served them with a smile.
He seasoned perfect sticky-rice,
and trained others to roll it thrice
into little circles of perfect form
almost too pretty to eat.
Sally brought her little girl to
eat at the sushi bar. She taught her
to hold the chopsticks just so
and to spit in her napkin
when she didn’t like
They came every Tuesday and
Thursday like clockwork toys,
the mother and the girl--smiling
with a barely recognizable konichiwa
before spitting out the nijimasu
in a neat paper napkin for two.
Kazuya saved the napkins,
in a leaking yellow ball
that sat quietly
on the window ledge.
He worked it with his hands
kneading it just so, before gently
slicing it into perfect circles,
and wrapping it tightly
in a nicely seasoned nori.
He served it with a smile,
saying konichiwa imi imishe kuso
and while bowing very low.
Glenn Lyvers is a poet and author living in Virginia Beach, VA. Lyvers is currently the editor of Poetry Quarterly and several lessor known journals. He has won two annual poetry prizes, a Wolfson award in short fiction and is the recipient of several Pushcart Prize nominations. Lyvers most recent book, Burnt Umber, published by MLM is available on Amazon.com until it is sold out. Learn more about Glenn Lyvers by visiting his online blog www.glennlyvers.com.