how do we dead-man float

there were too many deaths on the radio
but i continued listening
again at it with the cabbage and the cutting board
the ribbons my signature culinary move
though if i really wanted to get technical about it i’d call it chiffonade

there were too many deaths as the tempeh browned in coconut oil
too many deaths as i double-boiled yesterdays rice
too many deaths as i separated out the wilted pea pods

too many deaths and on top of that
scott walker in secret signing several bills
including: a bill allowing abortion-coverage (healthcare) only for rape, incest or medical necessity.
and: a bill that requires every woman seeking an abortion to meet privately with a doctor and undergo an exam before the procedure so the doctor can ensure she is not being pressured. Doctors who violate the law could be charged with a felony.
and: a bill requiring teachers in schools that offer sex education to stress abstinence and says they no longer need to address contraception. Wisconsin’s current law requires some instruction on birth control options.
and:  a repeal of the state’s Equal Pay Enforcement Act, which gave women and other marginalized groups more power to fight wage discrimination. According to the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health, women in Wisconsin make 75 cents for every dollar men earn.

it is hard to keep cooking
it is hard to keep doing anything
while trying to understand why this man
hates me and my body so hard
and wondering
where is lorena bobbit
when you need her

(there were too many deaths and then scott walker
signed some papers
in the secret dark of his thursday night office
that declared him owner
of my body
it doesn’t matter that i don’t live in wisconsin
it is more a matter of the fact that
some white-ass wealthy man
can sign my body over
it doesn’t matter that my queerness shifts my need
for abortion access into a different place than that of
a het woman
it doesn’t matter that i can now wear pants
cast a vote
work for 25 cents less an hour than my male counterpart
we were never really free)

and when i say too many deaths i don’t mean
the inevitable state of crossing over i mean
cops with guns i mean
rekia boyd shot in the back of the head by an off duty cop i mean
kenneth chamberlain’s autopsy revealing that he was neither armed nor facing the cops that shot him dead
that killer cops are who showed up in the middle of the night
in response to his medic alert system going off

how do we press through
this tide of violence
how do we dead-man float
to safety


write to get near the anxiety
she says
write as close as you can to the discomfort
which is what i did last week
to manifest this moment of alignment
in an office on floor three


is it idealistic
or oversimplified
to think every poem should be
a site of resistance and poems do not comply to this
they should be named something else?


a name for the phenomenon of feeling less alone
when we recognize ourselves
in other people’s narratives


the concept of
the original smarty pants being topped
by incorrigible smarty pants
gets a laugh out of the kitchen crowd
while the sweet potatoes soften in
coconut milk and curry paste


when i said it had to do with daylight savings time
i also meant to say
how deeply time is tied to money and that
the early light
is good for capitlalism