Two tiny children curl up into me, two side bodies filled with purity and openness. You slept. Now you awaken. Another day awaits you filled with hope and fun and love and abundance.

Meanwhile the world has erupted. Meanwhile a sore that appeared to be nothing but a silent scar, blew up threw up spit up rampaged screamed yelled threw pounded broke shot stole galloped carodded crowded spilled up and out and with all its might and power cried out STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP!

And you, my precious little pale children, slept. The sun rises slowly, just as it always has, shining its deep oranges and reds and pinks and yellows through the crack in the window onto your sweet pale faces, your eyes peer naively eagerly anticipating a new day filled with fun adventure learning curiosities and most of all SAFETY.

I hold you. I hold you for me. I hold you for the world. I hold you for our present. I hold you for our past. I hold you for our future.

This is the moment, I think. This is the time to wake up those melodious sparkling eyes. At 7 and 9 it is time. If you didn’t have your pearly white skin you would know already. I wouldn’t have the choice to wait until you were cuddled in my arms and the dew is gathering on our precious two pane windows while I hold you, the softness of the blankets and the beating of my heart sheltering you from, well, everything. You would have known it before you knew it, how they looked at you, what they assumed, where you were and weren’t supposed to be, how safe you felt some places, even if you didn’t know why, what your parents said and what they didn’t say, the neighborhood, the Barbies, cartoons, superheroes, politicians, the world would have quietly, or loudly, spoken it to you and even if you didn’t yet have the words, though at this age you most likely would, you would know. You would know there is a They. And that it isn’t you. You would just. Know.

But here I am with my pearly whites, especially my daughter which somehow emerged from my dark belly with freckly skin and auburn hair. And today the world has announced – it is time.

We did the first piece already, it was last year MLK day. And we sat with our kiddie comic biographies of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. We read the books, we spoke the fight, and I saw your faces – my daughter whose BFF’s are African sisters, and my son who idolizes Derek who used to teach him kickboxing, and whose life dream it was to become a cop, but who retired within a year because of the overarching racism. You, who saw no color, just joy and fun and laughter, you looked at me with surprise and dismay “A dream? Two little girls holding hands?” But of course you would hold hands with Jocelyn, every day you did, should you not? Could you not? And in that moment, my heart was torn, because you need to know, my innocent little child, but knowing is Knowing. And suddenly you know – I am white, that friend is Black. It doesn’t change anything, no, and it changes everything. But you are a child and your heart is abundant and the next day you forget again – that there is, that there ever was, a divide. Because you can forget. And your mama struggles with how to teach what was without eradicating the beauty of what has become. For you.

And now, the world has erupted, and I turn to my friends of every color and they are sad, heartbroken, dismayed, angry. The world has erupted, is erupting, but to me it’s a volcano that has been brewing for a very long time, a pimple waiting to be popped, there is nothing new under the sun. The sun has just gotten way too hot. And the people must speak. Because you can only quietly acquiesce to a broken system for so long. And it can only keep on breaking for as long as it does. Before it erupts with fire. Before the people yell Enough! Enough! Ennnnnnnnnnough!!!!

And their insides and their outsides erupt, and the peace and the war and the things, the things just staring at them in the storefronts – look at me! Buy me! These are all the things you cannot have, will never have, glistening and glimmering, behave act nicely, quiet down, do your job, stay in your place, and you will have us. Wait patiently, quiet down, don’t make waves…. And everything enflamed and erupted and catapulted and guffawed – and you said NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

And you. Were. Right.

Dumplings. I say. The world is sick right now. Sick with secrets. Sick from not listening. Sick from stepping over. Sick from not being fair.

They perk up. Not fair, this they understand. I read them a chidren’s book about a police shooting. It peers into a liberal white home where they discuss it and then a liberal black home. “Will the police man go to jail?” the Black boy asks. “Nope,” the dad says definitively, not looking up from his paper. “Why not?” the little boy asks.

This is happening in real life, I tell them. And their little eyes try to take them in. “Is it a true story?” you ask. “It’s an example,” I answer. “Something that has happened far too many times. And just did again two weeks ago.”

I try to explain to their 7 and 9 year old brains about white privilege, about race inequity about generational trauma, slavery, social justice, marching, doing what’s right. “Do all black people get treated unfairly?” my 7 year old asks. I nod. “What about kids?” He pauses. “What about Derek?” Derek is his hero. When he was 5 he used to say things like – “Derek can pick up a car. Daddy can’t. Derek could lift this, do this. Not Daddy.” Could it be that Derek was treated unfairly?

My son has a remote kickboxing lesson with Derek the following week. I check in with Derek. I ask if he would mind if my son asks him a couple of questions, not to put him on the spot but because he is his muse, his superhero, and he wants to understand. Derek graciously agrees. And my 7 year old interviews him- “I want to know if you can tell me how you have been treated unfairly so I can understand how Black people are treated.”

When he gets off the phone he comes to me and says. “People have yelled bad names at Derek. I am going to stop that. I am not going to let this happen anymore.” His baby blue eyes shine with ferocity and determination. A superhero is born.

I smile with tears in my eyes. I am touched by his passion. And his naivete. I share it with Derek and we are both moved to tears. It all starts with a yearning, a desire to change. But even that starts with a knowing. And it is maybe never too young to learn.

I hold my precious doves close to my heart. “Are all white people good? Are all Black people good” my son asks. And I try to explain sometimes we are, sometimes we aren’t, we are all hurting in the world, we are all scared, but we are trying. We, our family, for example, we want change, we want to help, but it’s hard, because to truly make change, we have to give up a lot. And many of us aren’t yet ready for that. We want to be, we are trying to be, but we also need to give up a lot of our toys. We are also part of the broken world, I say, but we are trying to wake ourselves up so we can all speak, and more importantly, listen, and fight for what’s right. And all of us hold each other, knowing we will keep on trying. Trying together. And I know, but I don’t say aloud, that as we try we will also fail, again and again and again. But the trying counts, and eventually it WILL get us there. IT MUST.

The next day my kids fill up 4 giant bags with stuffed animals.

It’s a step.

Siren Song

Siren Song

She rests. It is quiet. No passers by. She writhes and spits and twists and fights. Her body fills with rising desire. But there is nowhere to rise to. She looks about and there is only the quiet of the sea, the ruffle of the breeze, a tiny splash here or there as a fish lifts up to the surface and then is gone. 

They used to pass here, she bemuses, huge ships of men, seemingly tough and invincible, caustic and hard. It was her duty, she slithers, to twist and turn to bend and circle, to blur the straight lines to be the in between. That is a woman, she feels, the inside, the in between, the opening, the blurring of boundaries, the opening of space. Her job was to slither between them, to call them from afar, heeding the call of the feminine, they would follow, unconsciously, subconsciously, sometimes even seemingly consciously, ready to fight their urges, or willing to surrender.

It seemed to her all men were like this, wishing above all to surrender to the mother, disguised in glitz and glamour, rouge and lipstick, wet and wild, sucking and slithering and open and wide. Soft, inviting, holding, worshipping. All men wanted to be worshipped. So much so that they would lose their own everything for the moment of worship and worshipping, a taste of ecstatic union with the divine. 

She smiles, she remembers, one by one by one, those she tantalized and captured, swallowed and spit out. Confused, bewildered, unclear, undefined, they were. As long as she was siren she had the upper hand, as long as they were victims they hovered fearful little boys, scared and happy and entranced.

The danger was in the exchange – quick and easy and she left the warrior. But sometimes, every once in a while, she would switch then, it seemed from the siren to the child, or to the mother, opening loving holding wanting needing connecting sharing giving. That was the kiss of death. Then it would shift, she no longer wanted it, they no longer felt the same way, the tears came, the child came, confusion came and love came.

Love was one of those annoying emotions that seemed to just get in the way. It brought up possession, it brought in vulnerability, it brought in fear, it brought up all the things she didn’t like about herself. It took away her power. It took away his but it seemed to kill the magic, her kryptonite. And so she hardly ever felt it. Most of the time it would just end. 

She sat still, in the middle of the ocean, sensing a drop of her magic, or her power, but feeling also into the bits of her that flew off, each piece drowning just a bit with each victim, what is it to love to lose to miss to want to wish?

What if she were more than a siren, what would it mean for her to writhe into the kitchen, to make pancakes, lick the syrup, the chocolate sauce, suck the strawberries the grapes, trickle pineapple juice on his chest, tickle each hair it lands on, squeeze the lemon down his belly run her tongue down to catch it to find his rising lingham in between his powerful legs pulling on her apron as she would pull an airplane jumper leaping out and float in the abyss… a sip of hot chaga running down her throat, the pancakes steaming smoking and suddenly his curls, his chest the strength of his arms her apron falling to each side as she flies hovering into oceans of saliva sweat, cum and juices everywhere music moaning drowning out the screeching kettle and the smoke alarms.

She is a siren, that’s what she does, making breakfast is absurd, she is a siren isn’t she, so what is this loading dishes after dishes after dishes after dishes

She tumbles into the water there the fish swim in their schools, each knows its place somehow each with dozens identical to it, and here an octopus, a whale, a shark, she waits she yearns she wonders where are the ships are where are the men, when will he find her, the next one yearning for her call, and she will, or will she this time, open her heart within the slither, to touch him hold him encircle him engulf him but not melt him not ruin him not leave him in the spoils, lonely here in the middle of the ocean, manaftermanaftermanafterman sinking to the bottom, left for spoils. 

After all, she is a siren, and she does need to make breakfast, her spoils feed the ocean’s children, all fish great and small slurping on her spoils in the bottom of the sea. 

Wild Woman

Wild Woman

Wild Woman lurks in the shadows, wild woman yearns to be free, wild woman sheds her red red blood like the wild fires that lurk in the forests, yearning to spread their flames to gallop like the wild stallion she is, leap into the air defying gravity like a classic ballerina like an Olympic gymnast twisting and twirling like a wild dervish spinning and whirling like a dreidel all waiting in anticipation to see where it will land – but it just doesn’t. land.

Wild Woman doesn’t land. Wild Woman’s feet never touch the ground, wild woman’s belly touches the ground. Wild Woman’s hips touch the ground. Wild Woman’s knees crawl through the earth. Wild Woman growls.

Wild Woman sneers. Wild woman eeks. Wild woman howls.

Wild Woman roars. Wild woman ROAAAARRRRRRRS.

Wild Woman bleeds. Wild woman oozes. Wild Woman spits. Wild Woman screeches. Wild Woman sings. Jazzy belly fill the room Aretha Franklin Jennifer Hudson Ella Fitgerald Ma Rainey. Wild Woman bellows. Wild Woman croons.

Wild Woman’s prickly, wild woman’s raw. Wild Woman’s fiery, Wild Woman’s paw.

Wild woman’s curly. Wild Woman’s hair. Wild Woman’s wild. The wild will ensnare.

She’s decadent, hungry, alive.

She’s vengeful. She’s powerful. She’s godamn invincible.

She was a little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead.

Once she’d been good. She was very VERY good.

Now she’s grown up and she’s TORRID!!!!!!

Chef’s Knife

Chef’s Knife

They haven’t touched in so long. He turns to her a grateful smile, the gravy falling down his chin. She strokes it. Licks her finger. Puts it back. His beard is now accumulating the juices. “Love you honey,” he says but she can’t hear him. She needs to cut the meat.


It’s snowing.

The smell of yesterday’s lamb shank still fills the house, the Morocccan spices slow roasting since the day before – cinnamon, cardamom and brown sugar infusing the baby animal with its massive legs left now slowly simmering in her oven in her home. Your baby fed my babies, she thinks, sending some smarmy gratitude to the mother sheep stuck for a moment in the wildly unfair nature of things.

She hasn’t showered for days, it just hasn’t made it in the meticulously planned agenda of waking cooking working out cooking zoom meeting cooking cooking half clean bed. But she has the kind of hair that breaks wild and free when she doesn’t shower and the locks swirl into baby doll curls that quite beautifully frame her face as opposed to the stampeded on straight hair she often wears in normal days turning her into a plain Mary Jane.

It’s been sweats these days, “trackies” as her Brit friend called them. Leggings. Clothes you can work out in on a dime. Waiting for the roast to finish its last touches and then jump onto the peloton for one more ten minute ride. 

The family is upstairs slightly feverish, mostly fine, and the home has opened to her. As long as she brings them their meals she can move freely, expand, dance, even writhe naked on the floor and no one will be any the wiser.

She takes it out sometimes, this secret sauce, and delves into the underpinnings of the sparkly pot roast image she can show the world.

She imagines.

She is wearing 9 inch heels. Spiky and lacy, red bottoms of course, how could they not be?

A black dress, laced down, red bottom, how could it not be, peplum and layered, at least 3, maybe more. She loves dresses like that, somehow the pep of the peplum makes her legs look long and lean the look she would have always wanted who doesn’t always want, and her waist looks small and naturally rounded hefty hips lose themselves in the peplum and the baby doll barbie curls (albeit with a Lilith tinge) fall on her shoulders her breasts perking up under her uplifting bra. 

Red. The lipstick must be red. Bright unabashed red. Like a period on the brightest day. Day 3. It’s important it’s day 3 and not day 1 or 4. Day 3. Bright. Red. Blood. Day. She knows it well. She sees it clearly. Because it is. Day 3.

She also knows because she feels it. The rage pumping through her skin. The wild tiger lurking to break free. Coarsing through her veins, licking those canines, locking onto its prey, pacing through its cage….

The lamb shank is ready soon, the kitchen has exploded, heaps of everything in every place except where it belongs, the kitchen has rebelled, exploded, broken free, but the shank is patient, taking its time as the ingredients simmer and come together, while she circles at the cage.

The hair has started wandering, Medusa in a perfect wild coif, the slithering black snakes surrounding the sweetness of her face ssssignaling ssssslimy ssssensation.

It’s a big hunka meat. She will need to operate: she takes it out, menacing and powerful, it’s called a Chef’s Knife, after all she is the chef here, no one else to vie for that supremely high and phallic tall white chef hat – so in this domain that’s who she is. And this must be her knife, she thinks, she knows, she almost growls, it fits so beautifully in her tiny hands, strong and powerful and ever so large. She wraps her hand around It like she learned in the webinar, holding it in a fist, gripping its width, wrestling with the giant leg as it slips and slides underneath her hold, swimming in its juices. 

Surprisingly tender, she notes, sticky and tender, with hints of spicy and sweet, fabulously aromatic. She wields the knife in her hand awkwardly at first, like a sweet virgin inching to touch, eager to hold and to explore, yet hesitant. She remembers, with a smile, that her first real boyfriend adamantly refused to believe it was her first time giving head, though it was, she had learned from a friend and practiced several times with tutoring – on a cucumber. She chuckles to herself – food, of course. Of course. She wasn’t about to present anything less than perfect. And, apparently, she did just that. 

This was her first lamb shank. She mostly followed the recipe, but she added things, as she searched around and each one had a little of this and a little of that, that hadn’t been in there before. A splash of wine, why not? But wouldn’t the Barefoot Contessa have known if it should have wine, wouldn’t she have added it? Still, how could a little wine do anything but add to its richness. A handful of chopped dates. Don’t dates complement everything? Sticky and sweet and divine.

Divine. Divine. Divine intervention had put her here, in this kitchen, beautifully stocked, virginal white, the perfectly chosen ingredients filling each fridge, and all 3 freezers with fruits and vegetables and meat meat meat. Alternative sugars and flours and nuts fill the cupboards. There is more and more and more of everything.

She is dancing now, dancing with the pot roast, though the godamn le creuset is so damn heavy it isn’t easy to be graceful with that thing. Especially in heels. She needs an apron. A beautifully sexy French maid apron, she thinks. Because otherwise it’s sweats or gorgeous Lolita dresses, but what about the gravy pouring out of the orifices, crying out the rivers, looking for its home?

Home. She looks around. It’s what home has become. “This is not my beautiful house.” She hears the faint echo of The Talking Heads and suddenly their name that song the whole thing pulses through her. 

“Dinner!” She singsongs, the gorgeous lamb shank swimming in its juices, the sweet sticky smell, the children surrounding devouring it, the knife in her hand, she enters that room, the devil room, black and swirly with its midnight scents. The children happy, snarf down the food, still half lost in their ipads. 

The chef’s knife, she marvels, powerful and strong, yield it this way, in a repetitive motion, as if dipping into the well for water, not chop chop chop but dip dip dip, the other hand carefully placed where you want your cut to stop. This way you can cut in consistent intervals, dauphine slices, julienned…

She reaches out to him with her left hand. They haven’t touched in so long he isn’t sure where that came from. He turns to her a grateful smile, the gravy falling down his chin. She strokes it. Licks her finger. Puts it back. His beard is now accumulating juices, his long stringy hair lost in the beard. “Love you honey,” he says “thank you so much for” but she can’t hear him. She needs to cut the meat. She steadies it with her left hand. Her right hand moving in repetitive steps as if dipping into the well, her left hand moving with it to cut consistently, the secret to professional cooking. A scream almost exits his lips, she can see the micro-movement, but it’s cut short with a sputter, and with each sputter, each lie sets free, the blood is red the juices messy, some parts are really tough, she imbues, twisting the knife, slow and steady, piercing, the cuts a perfect 2 and a half inches apart as he grimaces in pain… would be so much easier wouldn’t it, just stick him in the le creuset, brown, season, bring to a boil and slow cook until tender falling off the bone? She remembers struggling with the lamb’s knee, somehow she ended up with the entire leg, not just the shin, and she had kept trying to bend it every which way to fit the pot. She imagines that now, the arms the legs the torso, the head, the glasses, the hair … 

The apron catches most of it, the kids onto the dessert plate, the giant apron gathers up the mess and the trash goes out. 

Her hair is wild and free, the dress in place under the apron, the lipstick faded and reset, the peplum bouncing as she scuttles down the stairs. Her canines raging, she is full fledged tiger mama yearning to break free. Tonight, she thinks, I’ll listen to ani de franco. Or the Indigo Girls. Or yes, I will Survive. And I will dance it and I know and I’ll be FREEEEE! 

She loads the dishwasher. Takes a pot roast out of the freezer. Presses start. Teeth brushed, pj’s on. Crawls into bed. Licks her lips. Eyes tumble shut. The taste of blood still lurking in her dreams.