Where I'm From

December 1, 2010
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I am from sticky fingers
Ring Pops on every finger
From Konami and Atari

I am from scorching rock walls
My attempts to climb them
and the feet-burning sidewalks

I am from pomegranate trees
The cactus we’d duck under
When we rode past

I am from debates on shag carpet
and the lack
Of elbow space
From Toadies
From Lagrones
and Meitzenheimers

I am from Shel Silverstein
and Dr. Seuss

From “Stop grinding your teeth”
and “Get my chanclas”

I am from bismillahs
On quiet evenings
The freedom to create
My own beliefs

I’m from the inch-wide void
Between cultures
Pakistani rice,
and tamales

From the silhouette of melting sandcastles
Against a summer haze
The scattered jigsaw pieces of my family
and the puzzle
Of which I’ve only assembled the edges.

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