I Can Cook for You: A Poem

i can cook for you - dominique lane - rest for resistance.jpg

Sometimes I can’t believe you still want me around, like,
I’m always on my phone because
everything stresses me out, and
the dishes still aren’t done

And I’m always wearing the same outfit at home because
I can spend half an hour picking out my work clothes, spiraling
is what my mind does all the time and
I know this isn’t what you expected

I have four jobs and
I don’t do any of them well, because
my brain quit me after high-school, y’see
I really am just a mess

There are things I want to do all the time, like,
I have ambitions, I do, really
want to be there for people, but

all the things,
all the thoughts,
all the feelings,
all the time,

You understand?

I can cook for you.
See, I just got a new casserole dish the other day;
it’s glass, so everything looks good in it.

I don’t know which spices go together, but
I know what I like to eat.
I can cook that for you.
It’ll look great in the new dish.

We have tea, too,
and whisky for later.
I’ll buy some flowers on my way home from work
with money I shouldn’t spend.

I can’t tidy the living room before you get here, but
I hope you smell what I’m cooking
on your way down the hall,
coming home.

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Image description:

An illustration depicts a birds-eye view of a dining table. The table is set with four dinner plates, with food served family-style in the center. Various beverages are also present. The people at the table aren’t visible except for their hands, most of which hold forks.

About Dominique Lane:

Dom is a Black queer non binary person of color studying character design in the Bay Area but with roots in Boston, MA. They are planning to use art to create representation for young children of color. 

About Vale:

Vale is a queer, trans, multi-racial person from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and a settler on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. They have a bunch of jobs, and when they are not doing those jobs, you can find them performing stand-up comedy at open mics in Toronto.  They were thrilled to have their poetry and illustrations featured as part of the "Make It Mindful" show at the Art Gallery of Mississauga.  You can find them on Instagram taking fashion selfies @cooltiebadhair.  Vale also co-runs Peel in Colour, a monthly arts-and-crafts group for queer and questioning BIPOC folks in Mississauga (FB: Peel in Colour, Instagram @peelincolour). At any given moment, Vale is thinking about noodle soup, checking their lipstick, or internally screaming about video games and cartoons.