I set my laptop down and get up from my parents’ couch. I walk into their kitchen, where my mom stands chopping potatoes at the dining table. My two-year-old sits on her knees on a chair, spectating. “Water!” she says proudly, pointing into a silver pot next to her. The potatoes’ destiny.
“What is all over your face?” I tease. She has a dark smear of… something… under her chin. A little goatee, fitting for a tiny demon.
“Immuk and cookies,” my mom says. It’s no lie… the unmistakable smell of Oreo finds me.
“Immuk and cookies!” I grab a damp paper towel and wipe my wriggling child’s face, laughing at my mom’s joke.
This week I made the announcement on Twitter that my micro-chapbook, Immuk and Cookies, is available from Kissing Dynamite Poetry. It’s my first book and a dream come true for an emerging writer. The KD website describes it as, “a song of matrilineal heritage, a symbol of the mother-daughter bond, and a tribute to Iñupiaq culture.” I like to think this kitchen is happy to be housing three generations of that matrilineal heritage, especially after nearly four months apart.
Immuk and Cookies is a seven-poem collection documenting my love for my daughter and the legacy I pass onto her as a biracial woman—a legacy I inherited from my mom. The title and cover (by KD’s amazing EIC Christine Taylor) capture the duality that is ever-present in my life and my poetry, as an Iñupiaq and white person who grew up in both California and Alaska. “Immuk,” as you might have guessed, is “milk” in Iñupiatun.
My daughter loves immuk and cookies, and I hope the world does too.