Anna Meister’s “Grilled Cheese”


The sandwich is burnt beyond repair. Squid ink, three a.m. without my glasses, that’s how black. I take a picture of the dark square on a white plate, title it Depression. I laugh at my own joke, smile to remember I can. I couldn’t go back, couldn’t fix it, short of throwing away expensive bread & starting over. Guilty, I eat the charred thing, today’s first food. It’s five now & the clouds are heavy. When I close my eyes, just desert plants, miles away from anything. Everything dulled, this hockey puck of life I’m left with, mouth full of ash. & are you surprised to know I know I’ll wake tomorrow for one moment of lightness? How it might feel to plunge my arm into a barrel of water & apples & come out grasping, full. On such a day I could save the sandwich, attuned to its browning, slide it golden from a buttered skillet. I could sit by the window with my comfort then, warmth & a face I like. The eyes would be dry, & the meal, a kind of church. I want to tell myself I’m getting closer to that. I need to see How Far Still outlined on a map.