"I Am From"
Mansions built on straw, mud brick and tanzanian soil.
Bamboo woven into mats and rice at every meal and respect at every meal and bended head and bended back for every elder.
Never a house for houses stand for permanence and I am from roving and instability and rocking boat in tumultuous sea somehow still grounded in the hope of a brightly lit tomorrow like the candles we lit when all the electricity went out that one time, and that other time, and that other time.
My father likes to say a long line of royalty and I like to believe him even if it’s just in my dreams that I feel like royalty before he reminds me we come from richness of the heart and mind not richness of the wallet although I wouldn’t mind some richness of the wallet so I could focus on the richness of my mind
I am from thinkers.
A long line of speculation and questions and wanting to know why always wanting to know why
Why is my life the way that it is.
Why is it so easy for me to
Why are humans so good at getting back up.
A family so good at getting back up even when all we want to do is lie down.
I am from thick unruly hair and broken brushes and “sssh just five more minutes” and blame and always sighing when asked “real hair?” and envy and shame of being unique.
I am from laps. From sitting on Grandma’s lap next to an earthy heartbeat and rustic voice and warmth and stories
From Dad’s bouncing knee and flitting fingers dancing around the edges of my vision to the rumbling rhythm of his laughter
And mom’s serene stillness as gentle hands smooth down unruly hair and quiet breathing soothes my own runaway heart
I am from runaway hearts always anchored by chained feet and fear slowly turned by love into acceptance
And confusion about sexual identity and self identity
I am from blurred lines, gray areas, all inclusive circles.
I am from a mess.
A finger painted splotch of abstract art that although hard to understand, is still beautiful.