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How to Eat a Creole Tomato Sandwich

by Diane Elayne Dees

It takes elaborate preparation.

First, you must go to Louisiana,

but not just anywhere in Louisiana—        

somewhere in or near a river

parish. Only tomatoes grown

in river soil become culinary miracles.

Next, you must stand in the store,

or at the roadside stand, and soak

in the fragrance of the fruit. The bigger,

the better—a slice of a giant Creole 

tomato covers a piece of bread.

Once you are heady from the perfume,

it’s time to admire the oversized corona.

Pay for them, take them home, 

and prepare for the hard part—the wait.

When your tomatoes are gently soft

and audaciously red, take out the knife.

Cut one slice, then behold the jewel-like

structure, moist and inviting in shades

of scarlet and orange. You may have to sit

down, should swooning be imminent. 

Do not take out your best whole grain bread;

it is not needed. Slather some mayonnaise

on your white bread of choice, add some 

pepper—a bit of salt if you wish—and place

the fruit between two slices of bread. 

Once you have eaten this meal, there will

be an extra step the next time you prepare it:

You will stare at the sandwich in awe, 

you may even feel tears forming, and you will

prepare yourself for the sadness that is 

to come when you have devoured the last crumb.

About the Author

Diane Elayne Dees’s chapbook, I Can’t Recall Exactly When I Died, is forthcoming from Clare Songbirds Publishing House; also forthcoming, from Kelsay Books, is her chapbook, Coronary Truth. Diane publishes Women Who Serve, a blog that delivers news and commentary on women’s professional tennis throughout the world. Her author blog is Diane Elayne Dees, Poet and Writer-at-Large.

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