Dangers of Miso Soup

by Karen Schubert

I don’t trust miso soup,
she says, and ominous music begins
to play in the background as she
pushes her soup away with long
rust-colored nails, not rusty nails –
those dangers we know about –
unlike miso soup that sloshes innocently
in its painted bowl, although, I admit,
is suspiciously murky, hiding
strips of seaweed. Even later, when
she tells me what she meant was
I am vegetarian, and sometimes
Japanese restaurants stir fish
paste into miso soup, I can’t stop
the movie from playing:
courageous heroine leaps
from her car – escape facilitated
by her unclasped seatbelt – heels
out a cigarette, and then! no time
to scream, miso soup
in close pursuit, she runs
down the street in stilettos, flowy
sleeves of her rayon top billowing
like smoke from a gun,
miso soup closing in,
white paddle-spoon clattering.


Karen Schubert’s poems and prose appear or are forthcoming inGently Read Literature, MUSE, Jenny, Penguin Review, Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar and others. Her chapbooks are Bring Down the Sky(Kattywompus, forthcoming)and The Geography of Lost Houses(Pudding House, 2008). Nominated for 2011 Best of the Web, she teaches writing at Youngstown State University.