The slick strands of angel hair and the taste
of earthy tomato paste on my tongue brings me back
to my grandmother’s house, where I am far too old
to be crying into my napkin for my mother.
I am too big to be coddled and tucked into bed,
too mature to have a scratchy afghan drawn up
around my chin. But when I try to say I’m okay,
the words will not crawl past my teeth.