Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tiny Kitchen

It’s like a battlefield
or an operating table
or a stage.
Yes, a stage,
and we do this little intimate dance
and sometimes we get it right, and you pass
with the hot pan in your oven-mitted hands
right as I close the refrigerator door
and it’s a fluid ballet. The audience claps
And sometimes we get it wrong
and something gets dropped
or someone get burned
or the someone’s toes get stepped on.
The audience boos.

I make us another drink.
I set the table.

By now we have stopped talking about work
for the most part
and writing
for the most part
and it’s only
Monday and we are already planning our weekend.

Our whole 12 years we have had
tiny kitchens, where we bump into one another.
And we have filled the white cabinets
and the freezer.
When the cabinets are bare, you worry.
You tell me,
“Don’t worry, I’m going to the store.”
You tell me,
“There will be food. I promise.”

Because food is important.
And what we have for dinner each night is important.
It has a way of taking away what went wrong that day.
The bad day at work.
The bad writing morning.
The bad week ahead.

We still make whole meals,
like our mothers did,
before they got old,
caring for and cleaning up after their men.

We still cook, like America used cook,
as a solvent,
as a release,
to prove that we can build something real
and nourishing.

I cut tomatoes,
and you tell me to be careful
because you think I hold the knife too close to my fingers.
You stir the chicken in the pan.

For now, we stopped worrying so much
about money.
About how it comes and how it goes
and how it settles.
Now we dance around tiny kitchens
in the heat,
with the Beatles on,
and I turn on the fan for dinner
and we eat
in the heat
and you make us another drink after
and we keep the blinds closed
till the sun goes down,
full bellied
and sleepy.


  1. Do you have a mailing address?

  2. Anon - I do. you can email me at ally.malinenko at