Ananda Lima
PB & J

As a foreigner

my identity

was against it

by default


But later
as a mother
I was
to make sandwiches


I turned away
from my American child

to hide a grimace
as the knife
slid on the oily surface

a hanging grub
the mustard of
dusty, old
midcentury velvet couches


I nagged my husband

for separate utensils

of contamination


Then, one day
I was stranded

under a sleeping child

The sandwich still
under his chubby fingers

bitten only once
about to fall


I moved
the free arm
closed my eyes
as survivors on TV

brought it to my lips

and bit it


Sweet swirls swimming

in fat
Thick, creamy

fromage de meaux


Beautiful body of butter


The jelly sandwiches of the past
were the ones
meant only for children

dry and bodiless

the superficial joy
of chips
from a vending machine


As I prepared
to bite again
than in that citizenship

swearing ceremony

earlier that month

I felt
As an American 


Found In Volume 44, No. 06
Read Issue
  • ananda lima 2
Ananda Lima
About the Author
Ananda Lima has an MA in Linguistics from UCLA and has taught language and linguistics at UCLA and Montclair State University. She grew up in Brazil and is writing a novel in stories set in Brasilia, from its inauguration in 1960 to its 50th anniversary. She lives in Maplewood, NJ with her husband and her son.