Coping Strategies at Sasakawa Restaurant

When she passes

our table a third


time evading

eye contact,


everyone mentions

Evelyn’s big butt,


even the Swedish

Queen Mother from Edumafa.


It’s inevitable,

as she brushes by


again without requesting

dinner orders


that our impatience will

terminate restraint.


The Mongolian economist

sighs, grunts even,


and then



the year Evelyn was

pregnant. Other


conversational strains

drop away. The tired


reporting of

taxi accidents,


of rising pineapple

prices, of staying


up all night

with a neighbor’s child,


sick with malaria.

In its absence,


the Dutch optometrist summons

long forgotten


high school physics

to account for


an expectant Evelyn’s

utter defiance


of all laws of gravity,

balance, volume, mass,


distribution of

what have you.


Someone likens her passes

to a matador’s


tandas in a bullring.

“They come in threes.”


The hour ticks

away. Each of us groups


her comings and goings

into these multiples,


none of us wanting

to consider


how numb

our rears have grown


in these hard,

intolerant chairs


until Evelyn finally

takes a last


and final tanda,

“We’ve run out of food.”


Cape Coast, Ghana


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