My problem has always been sandwiches.
Eight-years-old, explaining to my mum that love is in sandwiches;
That you really know someone loves you if they cut your sandwich into quarters.
Love was the effort in that extra cut.
Eight-years-old, already accustomed to quantifying love
Loved more or less each day
By butter spread to edges and cheese thinly sliced.
My mother did not know to show love in this way
Until I told her.
Eight-years-old, I gifted her the guilt of sandwiches.
Knowing now the importance I’d ascribed to this arbitrary detail,
Her thoughts filled with years of sandwiches.
Each sandwich that followed cut precisely into squares.
Growing older, I became embarrassed
Of her delicately quartered sandwiches;
Forgot that extra cut was love.
Too self-conscious, I shouted at her to stop. The other kids had halves.
Now, an adult, I make my own lunch.
Sometimes sandwiches on simple days.
Now an adult,
I still make the same mistakes.