There is nothing aggressive in a submarine sandwich.
Just provolone, lettuce, turkey, and tomatoes.
Mustard and mayonnaise.
That’s how Mom makes them.
I heft the small battleship of a sandwich
and sink my kindergarten teeth shut
around its hull.
This is not a submarine sandwich—
This is a stale sea-sponge.
And it drops back to my plate.
“Mom. Did you put ketchup on my sandwich?”
The electro-magnetic taste of blood
tempts my tongue to investigate,
but Mom is already on scene,
picking up a ruddy pearl from my plate.
“Here. Take this paper towel,
you silly, little jack-o-lantern.”
I smile like Swiss cheese
as Mom fills a glass with water
to rinse off my first escaped incisor.