Lindsey Walker

My Kitchen Can Beat Up Your Kitchen


My sweet tea is a song played on a saw.
My sweet tea is the bluest yodel,
the bone-chill fog raking fingers down the Unicois.
The throats of those who’ve ever tasted
hum with the wanting
of my sweet tea.

The stovetop moans
under grease splatter; red coils
smoke spilled peanut brine.
Linoleum cracked, peeled, scuffed.
My kitchen testifies
in odors of cornbread and orange pekoe.

My catfish is crusted with the dry tears
of freshwater mermaids, their brown fins muddy,
their whiskers!
My catfish is fried in fat rendered from cherubs,
the batter crisps, the flesh yields.
All tongues rejoice in glossolalia,
for the salivating
salvation of my catfish.

My okra hops a train, rides the rail
all the way up to Chattanooga.
My collard greens evangelize the feet
of adventurers before they enter my kitchen.
My dumplings hotwire a Cadillac made of teeth;
they hold the uvula for ransom.

The stockpot boils over, yellow froth
off sweet potatoes. My kitchen
is haunted by ghosts
wielding flour sifters, whose recipes
in graphite curl with broth steam.
My kitchen is a wishbone
I snap in half.


Lindsey Walker is a poet and writer originally from Chattanooga. She has won the Loft Poetry Contest, the League for Innovation Award for essay, and the Whidbey Writers Workshop Students’ Choice Award for fiction. Her work has been published a little in print and a lot online, recently by Your Hands, Your Mouth, the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, and P.Q. Leer. Her poetry will be featured in the upcoming issue of Third Wednesday. She lives in Seattle with a boy and a dog.

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