i belong in the frying pan
a skirt of egg white around me.
when we swim in oil
i will give you my purse
& my phone. you can do what you want
with them. my mother has
a cast iron pan that she loves
like a daughter. she makes good use of it
& then on sundays
ties a bow around the handle.
any implement can be a girl
in the right pair of hands.
once, only once i cooked a chicken breast
in the bottom of a pot. i watched
the pink turn white. muscle of the bird
like ribbons of bark. a knot
of sinew. i plug the sun into
a power strip & it flickers. prayers are
a kind of outlet. throw you fears
through your mouth.
you text message my grandmother,
sending her a picture of us
in our drag dresses. none of us
are girls anymore. i am often
a spatula & you are often
a whisk. my grandmother is dead
& all her pots & all her pans
are elsewhere. who is to say.
maybe lurking in a closet
stirring each other. i am told
i should let the reader know
who the you is in my poems
but the truth is it could be
anyone. every person is in danger
of becoming a "you." just yesterday
i was a "you" in the heart
of a strange white man wearing
a fisherman's hat. he said
"you, what are you doing here?"
i said "i am just sitting on this bench
waiting for my orange slices
to dry out." he accepted this
& moved on. i don't actually own
a frying pan or a pot for that matter.
i do own a boil & rice you can make
in the microwave. i put my mouth
close to the window & blow to make fog.
i write my name with my index finger
across the glass. the word simmers
& oozes like a warm yolk. when i say
"i belong" i don't mean
as punishment. i mean there are
few other options left.
i mean i stepped out of bed
& into hot snapping oil.
pink to white. a chicken upside down
where the sun shoul be.