Réka Nyitrai

Mother is worried because meat is becoming more and more expensive. Father lights another cigarette, curses the government and the rich, then announces that, starting tomorrow, he’ll quit smoking. At night, when my father and brother are watching a football match on the TV, mother notices that millions and millions of black ants pour from the screen. They march toward my father’s bed. Speaking in his sleep my brother mumbles: “It’s raining. It’s raining axes.” Father is delighted that mother has added a considerable amount of meat to the bean soup. He compliments her cooking and asks for another serving. “I will never become a sports news anchor,” my brother screams. On the phone mother asks me what color the chrysanthemums she’s placing on father’s grave should be.


Réka Nyitrai is a spell, a sparrow, a lioness’s tongue—a bird nest in a pool of dusk. She is the recipient of a Touchstone Distinguished Books Award for 2020 for her debut haiku volume While Dreaming Your Dreams (Valencia Spain: Mono Ya Mono Books, 2020).