6. Rena Minegishi

Study of a Breakfast Table


There would be coffee,

there would be bread,

bleached napkins, by the window,

even the pot of cream,

but you’re not there.

A morning

like any other

except you’ve entered the script

without entering the scene.

Just a figure in your chair

having been washed of darkness

skin taut, mouth clean,

shoulders tender

but you’re not there.

A blistering morning

where you aren’t. A kiss

with mouth full of crumbs

but no you. Only a shape.

I wet the neck with a towel

till my fingers drip.

When you come alive

you won’t believe me. My hands disarmed,

torso wide open and it’s true.

I’m lining my words out by the butterknife,

you read as if you’re newborn.

Look: your collar is still damp.