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.