day 15: re/in(carnation)

“People don’t become what they were brought up to be, people become themselves.”
Sarah Schulman

You walk into a room and swallow as many cellular structures as you can. You ask yourself: was this table, etched with unclear floral arrangements, ever someone with limbs? 

Furthermore, you wonder: how much of what we once were parts of what we are right now.

You have begun to romanticize reincarnation as though it were a new love interest. You bat your eyes toward flashes of memory. You are unclear if these are your theatrical trailers of lives once lived, or just scattered bits of movies and conversations you’ve devoured on lonely nights.

When do you officially become?

You were brought up to leave your elbows behind when eating at the table. Back erect and hair untouched while food fondled your lips. You were brought up never to cuss or complain. You were taught homosexuality was a sin, so you left yourself behind for two decades. You were told to keep your hair long in order to be approachable. You were trained to walk away from who you felt you were.

Or are we perpetually becoming?

You decide humans are always humans and do not reincarnate into inanimate objects like stones or light bulbs, but trees and water are a grey area, since they move.

So, you may have been drops of water in that lake you swam in upstate this summer. And you may have been splinters stuck inside the tree you straddle in the summertime during moments of mourning. And you might have been a slice of paper in a notebook that someone somewhere wrote poems in once.

Perhaps we are in constant modes of arrival.

Perhaps we never arrive, instead we transform into various shapes and sounds; there is no stopping point; there is no complete. There is just being.