A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

“Pesto” & “Toast and Other Things” by Bayla Cohen-Knott


She dances
Whirs and grinds and her arms rise
To ragged rocks of sea salt

Where she sleeps
She puckers up for a kiss
Feels lemon when there is bitterness
Goes dark when left alone
A moldy solitude

She duets with the plush
Heel toe tapping
Kitten heels staunch in their desire to step onward
On the oil-like floors

She moves across the room like there are mirrors
When she falls, what spills is

A delicate and lively grit

Toast and Other Things

To make yourself toast is a sweet thing
To make someone else toast
That is true love
Spread the butter all the way to the edges
Rest it on a napkin to catch the crumbs
Smiles are golden brown

On the countertop sits two giant cucumbers
And we will eat pickles for the whole two weeks
I’ll sit on the tall chairs, swing my legs into the island
And get told off
It’s the only seat where my feet
No longer touch the ground

I have been lectured
Toast equals heat plus time
This I will remember,
But I will never gain patience

I eat the top off my mother’s crumble
Using the grapefruit spoon for little bites
Make cakes out of doughnuts for my birthday
Put loving Brussel sprouts in every two truths and a lie
Snatch a Peppermint Patty after Sunday breakfast
Wednesday night is pasta night and
I am two, sitting on a ledge in Hawaii
Eating green grapes
My hands only the size of four
I think this is only a memory because of the picture

I sit back in my chair after dinner one night
Glance toward the counter
Considering a piece of toast for dessert
And in the vase nearby
A giant dahlia
I imagine leaning in
And kissing it’s petals

Bayla Cohen-Knott, 2022/23 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate cohort member, read these poems to open our 2022/23 SAL Presents event with Nigella Lawson on Sunday, November 13, 2022. Learn more about SAL’s Youth Poet Laureate program here.

Posted in CreativitySAL PresentsYouth Poet Laureate2022/23 Season