Sugar cookie dough, like an ocean tide, crashes together beneath my palms. It crawls between my fingers, caves beneath my knuckles, and unfolds like a scroll beneath my rolling pin. Soft, pliable, vulnerable. A little like me. A sheen of skin stretched thin across a long bakery table.
Dough is a canvas. I scoop flour into my hand and let it slip through the spaces like falling stars, dashes of paint. Fascinated, I watch as it sticks to the little hairs on my arms, frosting my skin like the dough. Long and flat, that soft cookie canvas crumbles when my arms slip beneath it to lift it to the presser. But I save it, and it slides through another roller, a long conveyor until it’s as smooth as a desert horizon.
The cookies will be star shaped. I push the cutter through the dough and each resulting cookie clings to it as I carry them both to a pan. I run my finger down the center of every one, smooth as a navel, and they slip out of the cutter and onto paper. Floppy, clumsy, but soon to be stronger.
Flour coats my pants and my face, but I am proud. A creator and a changer. A girl who isn’t perpetually stuck, like she sometimes thinks she is, and who doesn’t crumble with the ease of cookie dough.
When I bake, I am strong.
When I bake, I can breathe.