At the start of quarantine, I panic-buy
four bananas at the stocked grocery store.
I should have fruit in the house.
I like bananas just fine but never get them.
I pick out the greenest ones I can find
to give myself a chance.
For days, they rest like beached boats,
brown into summer-splotched shoulders.
A revelation: bananas gone too ripe
can be repurposed, mashed into
banana bread loaves, my favorite food
from my mother’s repertoire.
I have never made it myself,
but it is the time of new things
and baking memories into being.
My mother is lawless in the kitchen
and has no banana bread doctrine
or spell for me to follow, so I find one online.
Measure out 1 cup granulated sugar,
1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon control.
You are both adult and child, add melted butter.
I pull my bread out of the oven
and sprinkle sugar on its brown
earth crust, into its fault line,
then wait with forced patience
and a phantom burnt tongue
for the bread to cool.
When it’s ready, I eat a bite of home
and call my mom to tell her
my banana bread rivals hers.
And suddenly it feels wrong,
like I have de-pedestaled her bread
to hold it in my hands.
Made common this thing
I have considered magic.
Sarah Fannon is a graduate of George Washington University's Honors English and Creative Writing program and she continues to live in the DC area. Her work is featured or forthcoming in SmokeLong Quarterly, Dark Moon Digest, Diabolical Plots, Divination Hollow Reviews, miniskirt magazine, The NoSleep Podcast, and the LGBTQ+ horror anthology, Black Rainbow. You can find her on Twitter @SarahJFannon and Instagram @ampersarah.