Cena ~ Dinner
Cooking a delicious feast or tasty meal for one is a skill, art, and process with a priceless reward: a full belly!
Grown Harvested Trocó1 Done behind the scenes Sal Limón Vinagre Cleaned Seasoned Marinated A real milagro2 begins Pimientos3 Cebollas4 Ajo5 Diced Chopped Grated To el recuerdo6 de abuelita7 Greased Heated TSSSS Aromas heat up the home Secretly picking from hot pots Patiently blowing til cool Scarfing down a whole lot Jugando con8 yo food Gathered at a feast Dining all alone Cena calms the beast Til barriga’s9 next groan --------------------------------------------------- Bartered1 Miracle2 Peppers3 Onions4 Garlic5 Keepsake6 Grandma's7 Playing with8 Tummy's9
I learned lessons growing up in the kitchen that I still implement today. My mom seamlessly wove between Spanish and English on the phone while she cooked. I used Spanish, slant rhymes, and onomatopoeia to replicate the audio. I honor my ancestors by choosing ingredients, following recipes, and exploring the language. The kitchen at home is a sacred place full of tools, like my grandmother’s pot, that can nourish spirits. Selective with my diction, I chose each word intentionally. I wrote the ingredients and phases of the process in a linear and chronological format to resemble a grocery list or recipe. In the final stanzas, I used juxtaposition to illuminate the versatility, patterns, and cycles of cooking and eating.
A native Brooklynite, Kayah Hodge is a Marketing Assistant at Macmillan Publishers. The recent alumna of Hamilton College specialized in Creative Writing, honed her voice as a lover of literature, and was recently featured in Carnegie Hall's Afrofuturism display. Outside of writing mixed genre material, Kayah enjoys spending time learning new recipes and cooking with love. Her favorite authors include Jacqueline Woodson, James Baldwin, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She particularly appreciates work that sheds light on immigrant experiences and the vastness of underrepresented cultures.