Winshen Liu

Lunch at a Tavern

The office courtyard has four tables, each
with four chairs. My coworkers sit

one person per table. They are quintessential
Americans. I think of the time my

mother and I shared a reuben,
the angular taste of rye bread.

She asked what my greatest fear was.
Roaches, heights, meaninglessness.

I bit into a fry and said spiders. She stared
behind me, at the diner by the blinds,

and said hers was eating alone.

Winshen Liu grew up in the Chicago suburbs and tends to move every few years. Her writing can be found in Baltimore Review, Gordon Square Review, Raft Magazine, Santa Fe Writers Project Quarterly, and is forthcoming in Brink and RHINO. She thanks you for reading literary magazines and sends love to people who treasure novels and poems.