If you go to the sushi bar enough,
the chef starts giving you extra stuff—
fermented plum and lobster roe,
a sliver of clam flavored with miso.
Making sushi was your grandfather’s hobby.
You’re crying. The chef notices. You blame the wasabi.
You fan your face and sip your beer.
It’d be a disgrace to cry in here. But everyone’s fooled.
The chef hands you a dish. You’re not sure
if it’s vegetable, soy product or fish.
You try it . . . though it’s not something you’d order yourself,
you grin, nod and swallow the chewy wad
the way you swallow everything else.