After over eleven hours scratching
at projects and final tests,
my hands ache too much to hold a pen
much less a frying pan.
I walk over a bridge with empty trees
leading to a hidden stairway.
Past the sketchy doorways
of the riverside haunts,
my ramen stand appears.
Ramen with an egg, yes please,
all the salt you can spare-
No, no miso.
The school lunch included miso fish
which never sits well.
Everyone laughs as they toasts with Asahi,
I eat without a slurp,
too hungry to pause for breath.
As the sun sets the river blazes
in a dance of golden red,
but we drunk fools
take no pictures.
Am I still single? Yes, always.
No, no, don’t set me up with your son!
Jokes, jokes, anecdotes,
sure I’ll take some French fries.
We start to shiver as the street lights
blink on at the bridge.
I receive a service side of yakisoba
to save my stomach from school fish.
Chairs clatter as we all stand up.
The smell of ramen broth is thick
on our clothes and hair,
but we don’t care.
The owner gives me a grin.
Someday, I say,
not just for food
but for friends too.