Thursday, May 17, 2012

Eating at KumGangSan

"I am up to the head with these children," you say as we sit down
your slight finger poised just above your brow.

"They are just getting into cab right now."
I sit down at the table, my mind has already
translated your thoughts, your language and the
distance between Korea Town and Flushing
by taxi at the dinner hour.

I decide to order something off the drink menu
that is not misspelled, as if the word and the deed
were synonymous.

Soju Cocktail I say
Bibimbap you say... spicy

I look around the restaurant and see a small statue
"It's the Budda's birthday at the end of the month"
hoping the words alone would make you peaceful
but your plate arrived, that hot cauldron giving up
steam that rose and hovered around your face.
Amusing to me, but all you said was "Not spicy"
Half way through my Sunomono your plate
pushed away.

Go have a smoke I suggest.  I've had too many today was the response
Order a drink then, just don't look at the translations.  No.

I pull a pad from from my briefcase -
Sit by the fountain,
Write down your thoughts on this pad,
Then crumple them up.

You stand up, and taking the pad and my smokes,
and stop by the bar as you head head for the fountain.

When I finish my meal and look up
I see you at the table, your eyes focused past the fountain
the smoke from your cigarette rising up, carried off
by the breeze, past the table, past your offerings to the Buddha -
the small white inconsequential pieces of paper.

The Historical Inebriant:  Soju Cocktail
                              (Take as needed)

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