Lunch Break A Collection by Yoni Hammer-Kossoy
I am writing this note to apologize for eating your lunch. Only after I returned to my desk did I realize it was not the House Special (tuna and tomato on white roll) I have every day, but the Siesta Fiesta (salsa omelet on whole wheat) that you must have ordered. There was not enough time to go back and try to switch them as I was already on the verge of being late for a two o’clock appointment. I should mention that despite the whole wheat bread it was a delicious sandwich, and I particularly enjoyed the combination of feta cheese and spicy green salsa. I had
never thought to order this sandwich before, but it is quite possible I will in the future, and if I do, I will probably remember how I sat through that meeting wondering if you thought happiness could simply be a matter of getting someone else’s lunch by accident.
One day an octopus knocked on the front door and demanded to be taken in. “But we already have a dog,” I protested. “I know,” he said, standing tall on the tips of several arms. His voice squawked like an oboe and there was something cooped up about the way he smelled. “I’ve watched you walk him in all kinds of weather, and you seem like a well-intentioned kind of guy. Never forgets to clean up and looks both ways before crossing the street. I lived in the house just over there for the last three years, but through no fault of my own it burned down last night with no other survivors.” I felt uncomfortable when he said this, as I never realized my neighbor was a lover of exotic sea life. Just then, my phone trilled with a ring I didn’t recognize and I softly cursed my kids who think it’s funny to keep changing it. “Excuse me,” I said, “this will only take a minute.” But it didn’t. And by the time I turned back, the octopus was gone.
To the mouse caught in the glue trap I baited with a bit of peanut butter and chocolate chips I must look like an angry god ready to pluck down the sun and boil the oceans. He can’t possibly know I’m the one who feels tiny watching him struggle furiously in vain to get free. This must be how the world ends. If not with
a Vesuvius-sized bang that leaves us flash-frozen in ash, then one untranslatable siren after another until we all fall exhausted like moths under a bare light bulb on a moonless night. Millennia from now, archeologists will deploy the latest technology or invent a new religion and still find it difficult to explain what happened.
Originally born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Yoni Hammer-Kossoy has been living in Israel for the last 17 years with his wife and three kids. His poems have recently appeared or will be appearing in Pidgeonholes, The Hermeneutic Chaos Review, The Harpoon Review, Mixtape Methodology and Gnarled Oak. You can also connect with Yoni on Twitter where he posts as @whichofawind.