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When I have food that needs reviving,

my mother will sometimes tell me to put it in the

microwave

 

i was asked to remember who I am

and I couldn’t, but I could hear my mother’s silk voice telling me to press “cook time and don’t do it for more than 15 minutes”

 

so I grab a bowl from the cabinet—

one of the ceramic white ones from IKEA

 

—and place empathy in it

 

i place my love for my siblings and how cute

i think my dogs are

 

i sprinkle my humor and my favorite songs,

Frank Ocean poured over my

laughter

 

i pour anger and more love on top

and anger on top of that

 

                                                                                          i have a lot of anger i do not know where to place or who to give to

so it sits in my jacket pocket and behind my ear,

in the crevices of my body

I smear blackness on top.

 

i place myself inside the tiny black box,

press cook time and watch

myself bubble and hiss through tiny

squares in the glass

 

and i guess i was spinning and heating for more than

15 minutes because I splatter, and leave stains

like spaghetti all over the white inside of my mother’s microwave

 

blackness, which looks a lot like anger

and a lot like love

rots the IKEA bowl black

 

i try to open the microwave and blackness, which has bled into my humor and

my favorite songs

and my anger

and my guilt and frustration and fear

and my love—a lot of love—

is dripping onto the floor

 

I ask my mother if she knows what do to with all of this.

 

Mckenzie Baker

Wake Forest '21

Mckenzie Baker is a 20 year old with roots in Memphis, TN and Atlanta, Ga. She enjoys writing about identity and time. She is currently a third year at Wake Forest University and her favorite smell is freshly cut grass.
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