Cereal with Mr. Kim

By Rachel Fauth, ETA ’16-’17

is poured from a glass jar.
gold flakes then wafers then milk
each time. familiar materials, but
in a different permutation. I learned
by imitating, does he watch
me?

he chews and we quietly take notice
of each small noise. his front teeth jut
out: two half-swung doors.
hunched over, humble
like breakfast on the floor at a low, semi-sticky cherrywood table.
“Easy-going?” he tries to classify
the eggs. yolk breaking
we share a laugh.
some adjectives I explain
are just reserved for people.

mr kim is fluent in eating.
he eats perfectly, all his particles in the
right place at the right time. but I
decipher the bowl with hands like
someone barefoot
treading big, far-apart stones.

slow motion,
but not complicated.
our conversations long enough
but not complicated.
broken english is good morning talk.
it only sometimes halts
completely,
one unknowable word
dangling between a dialogue,
asking “do you recognize
me?”