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I am…


I am lower-middle-class and struggling paycheck to paycheck
I am strong and weak
I am suicide bombers and school shootings, and I live in fear
I am origami paper airplanes thrown frivolously on the front lawn
I am “bita” and “danke” and sign language letters
I am “Brittany Nicole!” and “boodle butt” and “Pete”
I am “half-pint,” but less and less often
I am a dysfunctional family for fifteen years
A cheater, a liar
A broken family for three years
A mom that never gave up
A dad that never held on
And my own family after that
Imperfection, but learning and molding and growing
I am scribbled, angry letters that will never be sent
I am homemade lasagna, reheated for lunch for a week
I am no-bake cheesecake and gallons and gallons of Kroger-brand Vitamin D milk
I am unfulfilled daydreams of running away to the New York City lights
And sipping fifths of vodka in Central Park
I am “why?” and “how?” and endless, insatiable questions
With hardly any answers
I am hypocritical churches and contradictory sermons
And atheism that finally makes sense
I am disjointed in my faith because an entity who is omniscient and omnipotent
Should stop senseless murder and incurable illness
Holding hands next to the pediatric hospital bed, a helpless baby boy unable to understand
And a terrified father, holding back tears
I am liberal and left-wing
Feminist, hippie
I am recycling and green and vegetarian
Cringing at selfish animal brutality
I am tattoos, on my ankle, my back, my neck, and my wishlist
Gemini, bipolar disorder seeping through the ink on my leg
And the blood in my veins
I am Christmas and birthday presents opened, weeks early
I am organization and OCD and tabbed binders to organize life
I am burnt peas sticking to the pan
And stinking up the kitchen
I am ten year old best friends, scootering down haunted hallways
I am the sound of three cats’ paws scraping hardwood floors at three a.m.
Running without a destination into dark rooms, rebounding back
I am a big hand, that holds a little hand, and they fit perfectly together
Squeezing her little fingers and vowing to never stop loving her
But wanting two seconds of peace and “pwivacy”
And hanging my head with every “NO!”
I am education, and more education, and “have you done your homework?”
I am skipping college classes and staying up way too late partying
I am early nights, and late mornings
And late nights, and early mornings, with procrastinated assignments and someone else’s pills
I am sex, drugs, rock-and-roll
If Eminem counts as rock-and-roll
I am hot showers with water scolding so hot that it burns my skin
I am used, abused and dirty, and often the scolding water doesn’t even get me clean
And the smell of rubber often makes me sick
I am regret
I am goodnight kisses and tight, tight hugs that lead into one more bedtime story
And “sing me rock-a-babies”
I am romance novels, but not the trashy kind
I am cruise ships and slow dances
And booty dances
And a well-mixed Cosmo
I am meaningful, rambling poems with far too much imagination
I am leadership, and control, and non-group group projects
I am do-it-now and do-it-right, hell, I’ll just do it
I am wedding vows and holding hands, and way too many fights
I am railroad tracks and vacant trains
And stolen kisses and sharing beds
I am all-night long-distance phone calls
I am cuss words when I’m sure there’s not a child close by
I am sideways glances and judgmental
I am a little racist, sexist, a lot of –ists that no one wants to claim
I am a closet full of skeletons
That most people know, or think they know, but that I hide from constantly
And more regret
I am insecure, usually embarrassed, and often uncomfortable
I am play-doh on the kitchen floor
I am 110 miles an hour down the interstate, headlights cutting through solid darkness
I am running errands, running somewhere, running everywhere, always running
I am always tired, usually sick, and constantly making excuses
I am forever anxious, and hardly ever breathing right
And always a minute away from the next panic attack
I am a sponge, absorbent
Ever changing to fit the mold that you lay out for me
I am melancholy
I am dark, and stressed, always stressed
I am trying
I am a porch swing, under a blanket on a chilly night
I am airplanes flying overhead, headed somewhere other than here
The Netherlands, off into the bitter chill with more American values than “Merica”
I am dreams that probably will never become reality
I am late nights, falling asleep with headphones blaring
What I am