April 11, 2011


Here is John, right after sushi class
The second in a series of three lessons
For beginners

He is walking down the street, happy as ever,
Carrying a plastic plate filled with sushi rolls he has just fixed himself
It's 9:36 PM

Here is John, happy as ever, carelessly crossing the almost empty street
His eyes fixed in the fresh sushi, wondering
How to tell apart the vegetarian rolls he specially made for his girlfriend
Not noticing the speeding car about to thrust him and the plastic plate
High in the air

He is gracefully elevated from the ground
He is bruised, bitten and pushed by the cold metal
Maki rolls fly without loosing a grain of rice
Which is of course a clear sign of John's fast acquired ability

He hits the ground

The car is gone, the street is again silent
One of John's sushi rolls lands gently on the lap
Of a homeless man sitting on a bench nearby
Reading an old newspaper
He looks at the well-crafted salmon piece with suspicion
And tries it, chewing slowly
His face turns into a big eeewww
He spits all over the place, cursing God in colorful manner

Meanwhile, John is laying on the street
Still figuring out how to tell apart the vegetarian rolls
He specially made for his girlfriend, and he smiles
He has two, three convulsions
And dies

cindy ortemann (New York, NY, 1979)