Where I'm From

I’m from
Six months in a clustered, condensed, claustrophobia-inducing,
Guidance office
Learning that I’m normal.

I’m from
Nicknames: FATTY and PIG and ELEPHANT and WHALE
That my dad spat at me
Since I was old enough to learn
I would have trouble running ‘the mile’ in gym.

I’m from
My mom patting my shoulder and
Cooing, “It’s ok to make mistakes…
You don’t have to be perfect.”
(But that rule does not apply if you forget to do the dishes or
Forget to text her back or
Got less than an A in any class).

I’m from
Superb evenings spent alone in my room
Writing
Because I find TV boring and my family does not.

I’m from
The six year old who played
Hang-man games against herself during bible studies
Those bad, just bad, maybe even awful drawings
I scribbled onto the back of church pamphlets
Because I was forced to go
And innately knew it was not ok
To not believe.

I’m from
Never getting to go to the Reason Rally in D.C.
Because my parents were not proud
Of a proud Atheist. And from
Never going to a Front Bottoms concert
Because it was ‘crap music’.

I’m from
Never going out to unsupervised parties
Because the answer
Was never pretty.

I’m from
The bottom of the food chain
In family Hierarchy because
My mom pities my twin
And my dad pities my mom;
I pitied myself for far too long.

I’m from
Long car rides to here and from there
With an iPod held to my heart
Eyes shut tight
With a symphony of images:
Dragons; thieves; sirens; royalty
Because I daydream like a crack addict .

I’m from
A temporary fear of hospitals
After more than a few family epidemics at
CHOPS and NEMURS and DUPONT.

I’m from
Keeping my promise to Johnny Cade to stay golden
And
Keeping in mind that Holden Caulfield warned me to never stray from the rye field.

I’m from
‘Dad, it’s not ok to call me fat’ and,
‘Mom, I’m happy as an Atheist’ and,
‘Everyone, I’m not upset, I’m just an introvert. Please let me write in peace!’

I’m from
“There’s nothing wrong with
Who I am.”

I’m from
Six months in a clustered, condensed, claustrophobia-inducing,
Guidance office
Learning that I’m normal. and that
My iPod is:

My inspiration for
The thousands of scribbled pages in
My dresser

And

My sanctuary for a library of
Bedtime stories I thought up
But have not written yet

And

A New Hope for
Crumbs of stories I never finished and the
Poems shattered like broken glass that
Are all I have to show from
A dazed childhood.

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