after my assault, i find solace in my kitchen. i blocked out many things that tried to erase my mind and my body, but cooking found a way to revive my spirit and keep me breathing. i know that this was a way for my ancestors to soothe me silently since there was nowhere i could turn. love, for me was found in the kitchen, my ancestors rubbing my back, guiding me on how much seasoning to use, reminding me to never give up. the things i’d never spoken found their way into my pots and tasting the agony of a delicious meal pushed me to understand myself, my history, and the future that i never knew i was worthy of receiving.