Harjo uses the image of a ‘table’ within Perhaps the World Ends Here to symbolize all the events a human could encounter. Beginning with the simple fact that one must eat to live, expanding through childhood into adulthood, covering love and loss, and even touching upon war. Harjo suggests that everything happens at a table. It encompasses the human spirit beautifully, the communal idea that lies with a ‘Table’ referencing our desire to be among good company. As quickly as life ends, it is over with perhaps our last moment at our kitchen table, savoring the last sweet bite. Joy Harjo begins Perhaps the World Ends Here by focusing on the ‘kitchen table’. By using a caesura after ‘table’, Harjo emphasizes, furthering the importance of the object. the ‘kitchen table’ becomes Harjo’s central metaphor, and therefore is placed at a focal moment in this first line.
The very image of a ‘kitchen’ bares of nurturing and food. These ideas follow later in the poem, with Harjo stating that at the most base and literal level, ‘tables’ represent the place where one eats. it is the base for all other things. The blunt nature of the rest of this stanza, caesura splitting the line into two halves, depicts the reality of life. above all, no matter what we have to eat to live.