know how to cook
create a miracle in a pot
make something out of chicken feet, pigs feet, cornmeal,
hogmaw, fisheads, fatback, ribs, roots, soy or red beans
Bad women overcome homelessness, violence, addiction and self hate.
Bad women march for equality
education, jobs, childcare, universal health care,
affirmative action and choice.
Bad women flaunt themselves
plump as mangos, skinny as tallow
dark as plums and coffee
light as cream and butter
gold as sun on lemons, red as cinnamon
brown as kola.
Bad women don't get old, they get full
full flavored like aged wine
full as harvest's vine
Bad women celebrate themselves,
fingerpopping, hipshaking, big laughed, wisemouthed
hefty thighed, smart thinking women
hatwearing, soft syllabled, eyelash fluttering
tangerine lipstick queens,
small and big breasted
fat kneed, skinny ankled women
who dance without warning
wrap their men or their women around their waist
and dance to the edge of dawn.
Bad women know how to stir
their tears in pots of compassion
add some hot sauce, wasabe, five spices, jalapenos
the salt of memory
stoke the fire of history
simmer in resilience
make it taste like home.
Bad women can burn.
from San Francisco Women's Summit Speech, delivered on April 25, 2000
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