Writing this poem is a feminist act.
This poem starts in my mother's kitchen, the way she showed us to cook
from scratch, to set the table, to host, to care
for and about every person's needs.
For unrelated reasons, I had to divorce my mother.
Divorcing my mother was a feminist act.
5'11" broad shoulders long feet
standing tall and strong and proud
barefoot in my kitchen at home.
Because damnit, that's how I like to be.
I still cook from scratch.
You want soup? Let me get some bones
and roast them for stock. Ravioli?
I'll get the pasta mold and roll dough.
Moussaka? Don't even threaten me
with a good time.
I like the food you got to put your love into
for it to come out right, I'm about that
cook all day type shit, the kind of recipes
that leave your whole kitchen covered
in trails of flour kisses.
And while there may never be
pitter patters of smaller bare feet tugging
at my apron strings,
I do still have apron strings.
My grandmother's green checkered apron
is my habit, my holy robe.
My grandmother was not a feminist.
My grandmother was a racist.
Speaking this truth about her is a feminist act.
I thank goodness she died
before I realized I was queer.
My grandmother wasn't even as open minded
as those people who say, "Oh, I believe in equality,
but I'm not a feminist."
"Oh, I can't be a feminist, I don't hate men."
Definitions are fucking hard, y'all.
Define love. Define orange. Define space.
Dame Rebecca West said:
"I myself have never been able to find out what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute."
My man gets hungry, y'all.
And I show my love through food.
He's having a tough week, I'll pack lunches to go in the nighttime,
leave them on display in the fridge,
pizzadillas, chicken salad wraps, sandwiches
that would make Dogwood cry, mother fucking
fruit roll ups, y'all.
Feminism, to me, means doing what the fuck I want
how the fuck I want
when the fuck I want
and may any preconceived notions about what it means in relation to my gender
fuck themselves right off.
Feminism means caring for others, too. Others' needs, others' rights.
And when I stand up here tonight and say goddamnit, yes,
I cook from scratch for my man barefoot in my kitchen,
because I choose to,
because I love to,
that's a feminist act.