gratitude.

these clouds, a collision of applause

maple walnut peanut butter

my dad

moleskine notebooks and extra fine black ink pilot pens

sundays

modern love

crown street home

kazim ali’s poetry

rebel

my skin

sobriety

wrists without serration

u.s. postal service

august

those warriors of gender and the ones I am still searching for…

music MAkers

coffee

my soul sister

the moon!

the scent of campfire

my ability to poem

poetry teachers nyc

pancetta bruscetta rivera herman (I and II)

that fallen tree against the lake at prospect park

employment

the contagion of elephants

collaborative art forms

yann tiersen

hard-working lungs

a resilient mind

an appetite

when I am [able to be] present

moving on

white rice

eleanor

farmer’s markets

community gardens

NY Times

creative circle

C & Peggy

found he(art)s

semi-colons

magic

an extraction of descent

There are many ways.

One does not have to be abandoned in order to leap into a lake made of hitchhiked creatures in order to decide where “I’m from” means.

*

I’m from the tunnel of my mother. Rent controlled studio apartment inside her body that housed me for nine months plus two days. Fed me trees marinated in soy sauce. Ate cake without plates or individual portion control.

I’m from the other side of that river where the scent of discarded life wafts inside windows and strip malls and strippers and striped hair and everywhere you look: corporations and franchises.

I’m from that howl housed inside the beard of Ginsberg and Plath’s gas mask and Sexton’s cigarette fumes and the poets that do not wait for stages: they do not wait to be announced: they need no introduction: instead, each breath is an admittance of line break and desperate call of language.

I’m from a body that is watered and hungry and in search of in search of in search of.

I’m from that evening you poured red wine inside ceramic mugs and we crushed sidewalk cracks with our cracked heels and I’m from that nectar squeezed out of carefully cut mango, sucked tropics out of its sour and picked out rind from my teeth for days.

I’m from plucked strings and exploding pens and letters written on disconnected bark.

I’m from addiction and sobriety and can’t we all just call ourselves survivors because amidst the disfigurations, we still exist we still exist we exist.