By Aimee Nezhukumatathil
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.