Angelique Zobitz

This poem is not about the sandwich.

On Saturday afternoons
I watched Gunsmoke
with my Great-Uncle Joe

he laconic and domestic,
fixing sandwiches
heavy on the mayo

in a pinch
Miracle Whip
would do.

But never forget,
to cut rich bacon fat,
dash salt and pepper

and sacrifice the red
beefsteak ripe to gush
seed against the knife’s

sharp blade.
His fingertips balanced
the suicide edge

against the thin skin
of tomatoes
he’d tended, picked

and cradled with love.
Wars are fought
everywhere, you know?

The garden,
street corners, our alleyways
of urban jungle,

the hearts of people
yearning for freedom.
A Black family loses

an uncle to Crown Royale after Korea
one in Vietnam
the week he leaves

an aunt dies
while birthing a baby.
What happened

to the narrative plot
that good and flawed
folks succeed?

There: a drunk running from his past,
the lawmen known imperfect,
an enterprising woman selling W.A.P—

no better or worse
than those off screen

one day
to be seen.
The stories we

voraciously ate,
cut our teeth on—
between white bread

bibb lettuce,
lazy afternoons,
all of it—

told in black
and white were
not meant for us.

Angelique Zobitz is the author of the chapbook ‘Love Letters to the Revolution’ forthcoming November 2020 from American Poetry Journal. She is a Spring 2019 Black River Chapbook Competition Finalist, 2020 Best New Poets nominee and a two-time 2019 Best of the Net nominee. Zobitz’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Journal, Sugar House Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, The Adirondack Review, Obsidian: Literature & Arts of the African Diaspora, Yemassee Journal, The Midwest Quarterly, SWWIM, Rise Up Review, Psaltery & Lyre, So to Speak and many others. She lives in West Lafayette, Indiana with her husband “The Silver Fox,” daughter “The Revolution,” and a pup named Princess Jellybean and can be found at and on Twitter and Instagram: @angeliquezobitz 

Next poem

Previous poem