Peanut Butter

I still eat peanut butter as if it fulfills all the categories in 

the nutritional pyramid. It can be found in the cupboards of each place 

I hang up my jacket and step in. What’s convenient about 

peanut butter is that it takes no preparation and can constitute a meal. 


So when I was bombarded by panic attacks upon attending 

my human services classes- whose content upturned the soil of my 

childhood trauma- I laid in the dark in my new 

nine by sixteen foot dorm room, spooning peanut butter into my 

mouth. I slept a lot. Dissociated until 10pm when my stomach 

would cry out. Kept three songs on shuffle. Stacked 

dirty plates. Rarely showered. Suicide was an idea that gnawed 

its way from the outside in, while hunger gnawed inside, out. 


Smooth: nutty, spreadable protein that filled my cheeks and 

swallowed into breathless smiles. I have an unconditional 

love for peanut butter. My dad used to joke that peasant butter kept me 

alive from age nine through high school graduation I must’ve 

eaten twice as many sandwiches as there were kids in the district. 


When the repetition got to him, my dad stopped making 

my lunch. I got up earlier, spread peanut butter on bread like I 

was a celebrity chef on the Food Network then waited till lunch 

for that camera-worthy bite of mmm… yeah. 


I could thank my dad for the sandwiches and love-letter lunch notes-

but it doesn’t change the reality that the years of screams and 

punishments are why I now keep peanut butter within arms-reach 

of my bed. Peanut butter is my body’s dependable restoration. 

Be it from my classes, conversations, or proximity to family, each 

triggering familiarity gives enough adrenaline and numbness 

for entire days to slip under my awareness. 


My consolation is knowing that because I have made it here, I must 

already possess the keys to my healing. I’m also one of many. 

My dad was right about one thing: peanut butter did save my life. 

This poem is about: 


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