For Lidia Yuknavitch because her words stir me up in all the right ways and reminds me the importance of being a writing misfit
I was taught at an early age the importance of a rubber spatula.
The tilt and twirl of handle between fingers, and press of rubber against bowl to scoop and flip. The folding in and out and around of ingredients. A rhythmic movement like thirteen yoga positions all arranged at once inside a metal bowl.
As I grew older, I imagined this rubber spatula as the ingredients inside me grew, and I needed a way to bend them. Mix raw into cooked. New into old. Memory into memory. Hurt into pain into disruption. Scar into blood into raw into still.
All of the ladies on the cooking shows showed me how to use the proper tools to cook. Cut using sharpened knife, with fingers curled in. Never to overmix. Paying close attention to order and pacing.
I don’t recall who taught me how to hide. How to stuff. How to forget what burns like bile into gut. Like ignored tooth rot. Memory into memory into memory. Collecting a variety of instruments to anesthetize the wrong angles of body.
- Grab a bowl larger that your sixth impression but smaller than your list of resentments.
- Add sugar, salt, drain the oil from your skin which collects like tally marks of your improper diet. Throw in some flour too.
- Make room to analyze your kneading pattern: how you hesitate to pound, how you shape and batter. Search for elasticity.
- Bake, as you stir in your contemplations of what has been lost or forgotten. 375 degrees. Golden brown. Swallow after chewing.
I stopped being a girl when it felt like a slur every time I heard it pressed against me.
The first thing I burned was peanut brittle. Tied apron to ribcage to catch the spills. Crushed peanuts as though they were my dreams. Stirred sugar into corn syrup into salt into water. Watched the bubbles lift up, copper liquid screaming from the scald. Too late for the butter. When we forget to pay attention, incineration.
I tried to describe it as this:
It was when he ran his spatulate privilege
into my muted body that I knew I would
never be able to move the same.
(You know what I mean)
Also Known As:
When bathrooms had symbols I could no longer prescribe to, I cut out my bladder and folded it in as well.
(see blunt end of shattered spatula)
Prep time: Forty minutes to an entire lifetime and then what?
[indigestion and disillusionment]
Help me to understand the meaning behind all this stir.