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Dangers of Miso Soup

by Karen Schubert

  • I don’t trust miso soup,
  • she says, and ominous music begins
  • to play in the background as she
  • pushes her soup away with long
  • rust-colored nails, not rusty nails –
  • those dangers we know about –
  • unlike miso soup that sloshes innocently
  • in its painted bowl, although, I admit,
  • is suspiciously murky, hiding
  • strips of seaweed. Even later, when
  • she tells me what she meant was
  • I am vegetarian, and sometimes
  • Japanese restaurants stir fish
  • paste into miso soup, I can’t stop
  • the movie from playing:
  • courageous heroine leaps
  • from her car – escape facilitated
  • by her unclasped seatbelt – heels
  • out a cigarette, and then! no time
  • to scream, miso soup
  • in close pursuit, she runs
  • down the street in stilettos, flowy
  • sleeves of her rayon top billowing
  • like smoke from a gun,
  • miso soup closing in,
  • white paddle-spoon clattering.

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