Abyss & Apex : Second Quarter 2007 : The Japanese Businessman by Kyle Hemmings

The Japanese Businessman

Kyle Hemmings


The Japanese businessman saw his wife
as a neat collection of her favorite clothes
spread across the bed: the sequined gowns,

the two–piece jacket & skirts,
the starched turtlenecks that could almost
stand up on their own,
the white & pink brassieres
that covered the hard lumps of cancer,

he felt her absence like a magnet,

A black hole of memory,
for days he walked the streets,
stared into the same dress shops she loved;
he passed through crowds talking to the air,
the faces, as if one presence,
he gave up reading magazines, watching CNN,
tracking the Tokyo Exchange
He came home one night, climbed into bed
a shadow on the wall,
bending, writhing, slinking, rising
opening its arms for him
it spoke: don’t let me catch you
with another woman
This shadow with his wife’s voice

Crouched low, stayed silent,
as he lifted his frame from the bed;
now, he thought, his arms groping,
if he could only get her back to bed
snuggle up to her, hide her under the sheet,
the energy it would take
to trap a shadow.





Kyle Hemmings works in health care and has recently completed his MFA degree from National University, CA. His passions include cooking, baking, cartoon art, and listening to old Beach Boys’ records. And sleeping late on Saturday mornings.


Poem © 2007 Kyle Hemmings. All other content copyright © 2007 ByrenLee Press



Copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted.


Art Director: Bonnie Brunish

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