I Ate the Insides

by Kim Chinquee

Days when the carpenters were working, my mom fixed sandwiches from the old house, which was on the same old yard, but the new house was closer to the road where no one ever traveled unless you counted the other farmers. I delivered, and at first I was afraid, but it didn’t take long before I was talking with the old guys who said they were working on my bedroom. They rested on my floor during all their lunch breaks and they told me things like you’ll have the sturdiest bedroom in the country, that they knew what kind of man my dad was. I sat there, sharing someone’s tuna sandwich and I said thank you for the sandwich. I only ate the insides and later on, while lying with my father, I imagined the men there, as if they’d never left, working hard and banging with their hammers.

Kim Chinquee is the author of the collections Oh Baby and Pretty. She is an associate professor of English at Buffalo State College.