girl @ the sushi bar (unfinished)

Lunch, two pm
Your stomach rumbles.

You walk in the kaiten-laced store
“Irrashaimase!” shouts the Indian man
surrounded by moving belts.

You cover a smile
at the incongruity
and seat your tired butt
on a stool,
it’s cold.

Kappa maki, yasai tempura, chawan mushi
You recite your favourites
to the bored waitress beside you
who’s sneaking glances at her smart phone
in her apron pocket.

You look around the restaurant
as they pour your ocha,
the hot drink splashes on your skin,
you shake your hand
and glare.
The young waitress whispers `sorry’
and steps away.

Children and their parents
grabbing plates from belts
– edamame, agedashi tofu, inari
conversant in the language of japanese fast food
plates guzzled in seconds
and in your mind
you think of starving Ethiopian children
where a grain of rice
is the language of luxury.

You pick at the sushi on your pink plate
sip your lukewarm ocha
add soy sauce to your wasabi
introduce more wasabi to your soy sauce

This is you
three times a week.
You eat
You observe
You slurp the last tofu square
from your salty miso soup.
Wipe the dribble
racing down your chin.

You ask for the bill,
enough for today.
Arigatos
spew from the lips
of all the wait staff
to the girl
who was
@ the sushi bar.

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