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  • Tamar Vidra

Black Coffee

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

She served the coffee black to me, he said. And I heard the cicadas hissing from outside and the slurp of his noodles and I stared at the stained rim of his mug, which was printed with Japanese

I wondered if the cement hissed, if there was an audible rise of smoke off the burnt, black ground I doubted that there were many people who paid attention to the sounds of black cement

He looked at his wife adoringly when she passed the mug to him Like he saw an image of her that I couldn’t see, a materialization of love Like she was wearing one of those halos, A crown of light, that we see in Christian art

Yesterday, I gave him an American flag T-shirt. He showed me his others. His daughter had one that read, “I AM LUCKY AND BE HAPPINESS” The girls at Hiroshima were wearing the T-shirts too Red, White, and Blue

Black Are the carbonized imprints on buildings Are the shoes in the Honkawa River And the bodies and children’s clothes

The steam that swirled above his coffee probably seemed ethereal to him That’s how I like it now, he said

—Tamar Vidra


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