There are two kinds of people, my mother told me;
the ones who love Jane Eyre
and those loving Wuthering Heights.
I, a quivering blob of unbridled emotion,
craved the ascetic honesty of Jane,
while my mother, pragmatic, prone to habit-formation,
sought the messy passion of Katherine.
(Mr. Rochester and Heathcliff are oddly interchangeable).
I considered this
an idiosyncratic line of demarcation,
its application peculiar to the two of us,
but now I see
a universal truth:
We want what is wanting.
Our dual allegiances were never bones of contention,
or flashpoints for literary argument.
My mother and I were staunch allies,
drifting off to our bedrooms,
books in hand.
My mother dreamed of pepper while I craved salt.
We both needed to eat.