Homeric Similes in Japantown
As when the boy in the epic watched Mommy’s suitors eating his pet chickens, each pampered bird with a history, quirky habits, and a pagan name, and he must have watched with rage, a rage that, given a mouth and two words, would say fuck off (three more: no more daddies!), so too is your sour, inscrutable stare. But not quite as when the two missiles—short-range, air-to-air, seeking heat—shot down the defenseless airliner, embassies were abuzz, no one would accept blame, and reading his ghostwritten national address, our leader gazed coldly into cameras. No, just as when, in the restored fresco, he rises from the grave and from afar his side wound is a cat scratch, the nail hole’s a red coral button, and he looks solemnly, angrily as all get-up at the beholder— you look at me like that across the table. Not one soul in the world is safe. In the background, half the trees are bare. Half green. Some even on the verge of blossoming. You stare at me, stare. Miso, udon swim between us. Resentment, grilled mackerel.