This poem by Aimee Nezhukumatathil reminds me of all the time spent in the kitchen, across my life and especially this past year when it became even more centered as a daily space for energy and deliciousness and escape from everything else.
Illustration below by one of my dearest friends since we were in middle school, Kristina Closs, a talented artist who has graciously agreed to illustrate some of my posts this month! You can see more of her beautiful work at @kristinapaints on Instagram or at WoodPigeon, her Etsy store.
Flour on the floor makes my sandals slip and I tumble into your arms.
Too hot to bake this morning but blueberries begged me to fold them
into moist muffins. Sticks of rhubarb plotted a whole pie. The windows
are blown open and a thickfruit tang sneaks through the wire screen
and into the home of the scowly lady who lives next door. Yesterday, a man
in the city was rescued from his apartment which was filled with a thousand rats.
Something about being angry because his pet python refused to eat. He let the bloom
of fur rise, rise over the little gnarly blue rug, over the coffee table, the kitchen countertops
and pip through each cabinet, snip at the stumpy bags of sugar,
the cylinders of salt. Our kitchen is a riot of pots, wooden spoons, melted butter.
So be it. Maybe all this baking will quiet the angry voices next door, if only
for a brief whiff. I want our summers
to always be like this—a kitchen wrecked with love, a table overflowing with baked goods warming the already warm air. After all the pots
are stacked, the goodies cooled, and all the counters wiped clean—let us never be rescued from this mess.