journal · poetry

Where I’m From

(I wrote this awhile ago for a class.)

I am from sunflower stalks
and the scent of living beasts,
from clutching at fur and heartbeats.
I’m from the peace of quiet moons
Shining in the blackened skies,
From the climbing of an old, gnarled tree.
From the rough, grooved bark,
and the earthy smell of falling
down, forever down.
I’m from the cracked linoleum floor
Lined with flowers and dirt.

I’m from a glimpse of city lights
on the wooden slatted roof
near the top of the hill
and hidden by the highway.
I am from a place
Where the heat shows no mercy
to any living soul.
I am from the silly rosebush lie
that he was clever enough not to believe.

I’m from rooster pecks and dog bites,
bad cooking, smoke alarms,
and swimming like a fish
in pools that could be ponds.
I’m from yelled names
and furtive glances
when they thought we wouldn’t notice.

I am from the afterthought of happiness
The sense of its vague shadow –
its edges fleeing by
in a sea of blissful faces.
I’m from the feeling of silk ribbons in my hair
then flying freely through the air
in the wind and through the leaves
until the moment escapes me.
But I can still see Miki’s smile in my dreams
and know that I am from these things.
Or am I only from missed chances
and second guesses
now.

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