Orange Obi-Tie, 1988

1.
My mother sliced Japanese burdock.
Cabbage soup simmered on the stove.

It was always raining in 1988
after my mother took her Kimono wearing classes.

I waited for my father in front of the bus stop.
With his umbrella, I played in puddles on the asphalt street.

“You don’t have to cook this much everyday,”
my father said drinking glasses of beer.

My mother showed him her new silk obi-tie.
It was bright orange under the dining room light.

2.
My father had a cerebral hemorrhage.
His brain forgot everything after 1988.

Through his nostrils,
yogurt formula comes down in tubes and his body digests it.

His laundry bags are putrid and cumbersome.

While I recite to myself why he has to live,
my mother folds the obi-tie.

After her Kimono class, she eats soba-noodles
and visits my father with clean underwear.