My boy comes home hungry from a full day at a friend’s house where he forgot to eat
I am making eggplant moussaka, my Armenian mother-in-law’s recipe. I have sliced the eggplant into thin pieces salted the circles and let them stand patted each one dry before frying them The chopped meat still thaws on the counter
When he comes home unexpectedly hungry there is nothing to eat He doesn’t like it when vegetables, sauce, and meat touch
I scramble. Form the chopped meat into a patty. Place it in a sizzling pan flip it, put a hunk of cheese on top slide it onto a panini next to carrots and apples followed by a mini watermelon cut in half like a bowl so he can eat it with a spoon the way he likes. Nothing special
Now there isn’t enough meat for the moussaka the cooked eggplant sits on the counter my mother-in-law’s dark eyes fade and my family’s next warm meal remains in pieces
But I don’t care because I hear my twelve-year-old son strut out of the kitchen and say, Ah, this is a good stomach to sleep on
Ana María Carbonell is a writer currently living in Berkeley, CA. Her work is forthcoming in Loch Raven Review and at the Popular Culture/American Culture Associations Conference. It has also appeared in MELUS (Multicultural Literatures of the U.S.) and was presented at Missoula’s Minority Literatures Conference. Ana María enjoys writing about cultural identity and relationships. Some of her favorite poets include Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver, and Yusef Komunyakaa. When not writing, Ana María enjoys hiking, watching films, and dancing to live music, especially under an open sky.