into beef stew and I’ll call you mom
an archival collection of my mothers recipe clippings
I am on the bathroom floor again swanning long bodied three feeT from Grace, coUnting
the kitchen tiles between ouR bare baby flexed feet.
beneath the oven, My dusty knEe socks are bundled / toRn by the back
left frIdge foot / cloth frozen & Cubed into separate ice tray chunks /
in the / below / above the / washer / dryer / become
stovetop tinder / somewhere else
& I just can’t open my eyes
wide enough to search.
I materialized somewhere in-between
the hours of 2:00 PM & 5:00 AM, folded
over the corner of my comforter,
& saw a couple bare baby toes blossomed out
one bag of bare baby carrot toes
I checked my mom’s recipe & decided
I had seen enough of my the broth on the stovetop had enough
body & tucked my feet back underneath the sheets.
Is there a difference between a tablespoon and the regular spoon that we keep on the table?
shit, I painted gore on the wrong side of my neck
round and begging / belt looped / encircled by thick euphonium fingers /
fed like sourdough starter, how erotic! / to be
strangled claimed married touched / because I begged
asked like a lady
because I want to stop breathing with my letter shaped mouth / I take
and plug up my
body paint / turn my lips into an ‘O’
Oven Open alOne hOpe hOme (usually
I dO this fOr custOmers,
sOmetimes habits creep back in when I use red
lipstick for my sugar daddy tips paint)
Orgasm whOre hOle hOe
mOuth sOured dOugh tended tO / bad
bacteria pOured Out, bagged, sent hOme
tO the rOots of grime, filth (sex)
a sex slick landfill (pain feels gOOd
with the illusiOn Of chOice)
you feed the sourdough by placing equal parts flour and water into the mason jar
(so as long as you measure and keep count, cry freely)
my mom sent me images of
my dismembered ancestors recipe books signed:
Carla Yvette Morris
Julia Elaine Blair
Carole Yvonne Blair
why did all my mothers’ mothers’ mothers go by their middle names?
is an Austrian tradition a piece of Russian heritagecomes from nowhere / like my mom’s missing birth
father / perhaps it’s baker-ly — cut off the beginning
cut off the end, keep only the center
(the opposite of a bagel and its hole)
(I only know I have materialized and not entirely faded
from existence because my meat has not yet turned inside out.
I just ate
the grime from beneath my fingernails an asiago bagel with cream cheese
and can feel the dough scraps coalescing and rising in my stomach acid—
that’s how proofing works, right? I should ask
my moms, the women who feed me if they, too, sometimes feed on themselves but I’m afraid a ‘mom’ will slip out
I get fucked they answer and I’ll never be able to forgive myself and then I’ll starve.)
(when I say I have five moms, I mean anyone who has ever cooked for me has become my mom)
let me be clear about something— I do not know how
to be a woman to cook.
by this, I mean I almost set Douglass Loop on fire when I microwaved a cup of instant mac
and cheese without any water. It smelled like over-ironed hair.
(shit, I seasoned it good though.)
Iron burned hair with oregano and
cadversvenders, mustard seed, ginger
let me be clear about something— I am not a (wo)man. keep this in mind when sending me
sex toy recommendations recipes. know I still can’t cook, and might never try. I only pantomime my lineage:
vegetable chopping one and a half onions
(I am afraid of the habits knives teach)
baby birthing I push and push and push
cell clumps sound when they hit the water below
my mother holds my hands:
these are things you come by honestly
Great Uncle Don trashed and sold Great Aunt Elaine’s entire house when she passed, without
telling a single soul. the things we have lost include: walls of fabric and sewing patterns, furniture,
jewelry, novels, the poetry she wrote, recipe books. so this is archival work.
(the house-burning or the poem trashing?)
after he finished
pouring her prose out into the trash bag on my back, my first second third boyfriend took his open palms and spanked me over and over and over until my body started shaking until my cheeks turned redhot and I couldn’t believe it at first but after five tests I knew there was no sense in pretending to be a virgin I got pregnant. yeah you heard me right, this man went and spanked my ass so hard I got pregnantotatoes, six of them, cubed and lightly peppered. I heard somewhere you can suck on them if you’re too tired to eat real food to quiet your yelps.
I like having things in my mouth, in my hands, between my teeth, in my belly
and even in my ears:
fit your dick through my giant hoop earrings, I dare you: whole my holes
my roommate convinces me to leave the house because where I am going there will be warm broth to hold in my mouth and warm broth can do fucking anything no matter how shitty your day’s been. warm broth gets you right down to the chicken bone.
when I ran out of leftovers, I made miso soup from a packet of miso paste and dehydrated spinach. while I boiled the water with an electric kettle, I checked the recipe my mom texted me and decided
I had seen enough of my the broth had enough body and tucked my feet back underneath the sheets.
The Settlement Cookbook: The Way to a Man’s Heart Chapter 13 reads:
little sound MachinE, whAT do you think I’M doing in thEre, door closed, heATer on in the MiddlE of july? I’m looking for something to breEk, shrink, squeeze beneaTh My palms and roll insidE me. I’m trying to Avoid This MEdicAl kink meTaphor, the one with the breathalators, needles, straightjackets, nitrous oxide, the consensual disMEmberment. ThAnk God I never learned To use a knife. I eMErge from the fluorescent bAThroom after My tEn minute breAk wiTh My facE redhot, nAils grimed. whaT I’M trying to say is I don’t just cry in thEre. whAT I’ trying to say is I’m fucking horny and need some good MEAT.
covered in body paint I
contort myself in strange shapes am swanning
you roll my bughead – kneel beside me, coo: honeybee, grasshopper
(I’m so hungry I might turn inside out)
please don’t stop renaming me, I want to be one of your vital organs renaming me softly, when held to a lamp you make my skin transparent, multi-love, this is a COnvent spread over the bottom of my big blue pan, a COllectioN of bodies connected at the thUmb pinky thumb apart my exoskeleton tenderly pinky Thumb pinky circle Of fIsts a sequenced key where we press our fingers down to the inside of your wrists and they give way, Liquid filled exterior, (multi-love, cook with me and I might even consider doing the dishes afterwards) organs of orange juice, liver of lemonade, champagne colon, (multi-love, cook with me) prosecco pancreas, nectar of peaches bubbling from behind your lips, all of this comes from a gaudy glass bottle I bought at Kroger, still sitting on my Nightstand because I think I might like to paint it and it’s too beautiful to send to the landfill of sex—
I think I’m going to cry.
call me bug and I’m tenderized
honeybee and I’m sweetened
let’s make a stew and I’ll call you mom
nothing gets me hard like forgetting my name
ODE TO MY GRIME
(don’t open the door when I’m on my ten minute break or I swear to God…)
It’s just that I’m a mess
-y kind of robitussin stained queer
un-cashed check beneath my beer bottle
belly tabbed open for one cool fizzy sip
& left for the roach infestation
I’m a generous kind of queer, dirty little
crumbs in my purple shag, white
under eyes, striped red sheets, I’m free
bleeding into my uniform
-ed beneath the bathroom’s moss knobs
company door shut & locked, I clock out
& sharkfingers encircle my ankles
my bare red ass suctioned to the the toilet seat
no one can hear my hea(r)t
machine sounding above the bubble blower:
a long snail trail spread between my forefingers
coated from stroking my hooded bait.
will I still love my pinched belly, If I allow myself
to empty what will rise:
the half-cock that vaginismus let crawl inside
pancake batter Clove kneaded into my stomach acid
mating little bugs exponentially loving & laying their little yellow eggs
how blessed I am to be filled with little cured fetuses
I watch fall from my body
how blessed I am to watch them sway
with each breath & fall from my body
with a single swig of Big Red / dose of I don’t fucking know / cold
potato wedges snapping like the skin
-costume my boyfriend said he’d make me into
& wear so we could always feel close
(this is the kind of shit that turns me on vroom vroom)
no one can hear me spiraling
down the drain, waterlog peeling back my ferment,
if you look will there still be a boygirl
pooling beneath my bed if you lift
the unwashed sweater from my shoulders
will my body give
If I extract my grime,
what will be left
Bunny Morris is a genderfluid artist from Louisville, Kentucky, and poet of A Performance of my Ecstasy (Gap Riot Press, 2020). They are currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English with minors in Creative Writing and LGBTQ+ studies at the University of Louisville. His work revolves around their experiences as a trans sex worker, with a focus on sexuality, gender, and the interaction between trauma and pleasure. His poems can be found with Anti-Heroin Chic, Miracle Monocle, Lavender Lime Lit, and other journals.
*Image credit: Sarah Lucas, Tit-Cat Down, 2015.