I AM FROM
I am from blankets made out of long worn clothes,
from televisions, CCD classes and home-cooked meals.
I'm from the suburbs, (but every house has character),
From ice cream trucks and the neighborhood watch,
And the three oaks standing tall in the front yard,
growing as my sister grows, as I grow, as my brother grows.
I am from the blessing of the baskets and midnight mass.
From Michele and David, Blanche and Raymond.
I’m from kisses on the mouth and constant teasing.
From enveloping hugs and spanks on the butt.
From Melissa’s shadow, from the middle of three.
I’m from “Don’t talk to strangers!” and “You're so sensitive.",
"Kocham Cię." and "Malutka.", and “Our Fathers”
followed by “Hail Marys”.
I am from Poland, not by blood but family;
the home my dziadkowie speak of so often.
From Gołąbki, Kiełbasa, and Placki ziemniaczane
(with the occasional pot roast and pizza.)
I'm from the struggle of indentured servants
trying to earn their freedom, but never reaching it.
Keeping their traditions alive through
a hand-written recipe book, a cast-iron mold,
and a gilt-edged Bible.
It was me, but
I was being naïve,
I couldn’t keep you,
too dazed by love to see it.
I want to whisper take me back,
But I avoid you because then,
then I can pretend.
Then I can be selfish.
Illusions have a habit of breaking.
want to scream until my lungs,
traveling upupup my trachea,
burst out of my mouth.
Then I’ll gulp them back down while I
Breathe deep– inhale the perfume,
like a vacuum, the smog. And
keep all my words (each fucking one)
inside, hidden in a pink, withahintofgrey,
membrane (unfortunate left over from my smoker days)
If there is one thing I’ve learned
(have I learned?) is that
re-heated spaghetti tastes terrible coming back up.
You probably think this is all a big
waste of time.
And maybe when it matters it is
(because levity is my only medicine),
but I digress,
and digress, and digress, and digress, and
digress, and digress, and digress
Back to hiding, eating, retreating—
My words, thoughts, feelings.
I do what any fat girl does: stuff them down