Kathryn Burak is a lecturer at Boston University and has fiction forthcoming in Seventeen, Fiction, Epiphany, and elsewhere. 
Sep 01 1991
Aki leans over the steaming bowl. The dashi is the color of tea. She watches several oil blobs float on the surface, gently change shape, combine, as she stirs the soup, as she touches her spoon to the tiny circles of green onion taht float to the top. The steam smells like nothing but heat. She sips fromt he spoon. It is without much flavor, but warm, and has an edge of smoke and metal. The taste after fish. She stares off, distracted by a sudden movement in the yellow leaves outside the kitchen window. They will be off the trees soon, she knows.