Dining alone in the Japanese restaurant on your 40th birthday
I don't miss you
(although I spill the soup).
Remembering us in the ryokan
I am not lonely
(I have a book).
When I told you I would love you forever, you blanched
than the onions in my vegetable tempura
(I no longer eat meat).
How could you possibly say such a thing, you asked,
(but, knowing it was true, you bent over your bento box
and planned your escape).
There was a worm, I recall,
painted on the bottom of my sake cup .
Lovers must pour for each other, you said, pouring
(although you were not my lover).
Flying home, we were diverted to Alaska.
From the open plane door
we looked down on the snow banks,
breathed, for a moment, the crushing, freezing air.
It had nothing to do with us
Here, in the warm, a couple (Japanese) arrives.
The waitress (ane o ne) seats them next to me,
(as we were).
They eat, noisily, crunching, slurping, ignoring me,
the tourist in the Miyake suit
(our currency is not what it was)
but I don't mind,
I am complete,
spare as a haiku
(spilled but contained on the lacquerware tray).