What Ate Charlie Brown Ate Me Too

by Zachary Caballero

According to Charlie Brown,
“There’s nothing like unrequited love
to drain all the flavor out of a peanut butter sandwich”

What’s brilliant about this
has to be
how quick
Charlie learns of heartbreaks simple
How taste is nothing more than
the ease in which a peanut-swimming tongue
watches love parachute
turns to brittle upon exit,
and the nuance of never
having what you want is
now a second language
you can never leave behind.
You chew it, only to feel familiar flavor
vanish with the saddest velocity
swallowed conjugation
changes the root of everything,
settles with meaning you cannot decipher
or dance with, for that matter.

What’s the point of being tender
if all you get is lost in translation?
What’s the point in saying love
if all you get is sad sandwiches?
You speak it, but your breath is left out
bad bread, bad heart weather brewing
the yeast into yesterday’s yearning,
your most precious longing
something you can no longer eat
long gone.

Why is it that we describe the missing
with length? As if losing someone
or something is a matter of rulers
as if losing someone is a matter of rules,
heart breaks break all rules,
despair does not care for the distance
between you and your beloved.
We all know the feeling
the feeling of star-gazing peanut butter
sleeping on the roof of your mouth
as if leaving was ever
an option, and we all know the
feeling of loving someone so much
we cling with every fiber of being
because holding is all we can remember when
we’re this close to being chewed up and swallowed
and we all know what the name
of our beloved does to the chemistry of our tongue,
the way it turns to peanut butter
hungry for roof, a chimney of umami
blooming like lunch time, 

I have counted each syllable of her name 
picked them up like peanuts
and no matter the sound, each fraction
of her still smothers me smooth
then lifts, coddles,
then composes, and I suppose
you expect the same pop rock sensation
to happen from the mouth that says your name too
but you think of her mouth, and what flavor
you bring to her teeth, if you are slush or much more,
so you become comestible, an easy conquest
until you are unrequired
until your love is nothing but quiet
until your love is no longer together
until your love is one unrequited meal

The peanut butter sandwich I made for
lunch has already started to stale, along
with her name still stuck to the roof of
my mouth, the palate being the only place in the mouth
that will tell you the truth. 

I make a peanut butter sandwich
and think of you, I think of how both love and heartbreak
are such easy recipes, and how this peanut butter sandwich
is simple like rain on a sunday
I always say simplicity is conditioned to be everlasting
but you don’t have to be a clock-maker to know
nothing lasts, and even if you love with no questions asked
what do you do when you make the person you love a peanut butter
sandwich, but both her heart and stomach
are fasting?