I am from the shooting range,
a .22 Smith & Wesson in my hand.
The metal of the gun is cold against my skin and
my target reveals several holes in the center.
I used to be from waking up bright and early for Sunday School,
wearing a pink dress and exquisite white shoes,
my hair in curls.
A picture of perfection, as my Grandma said.
From the heat of a ghost pepper,
burning my tongue, my throat.
I drink cool, refreshing milk to wash it down,
and proceed to ask for more.
I am from the ice cold breeze in the winter,
tickling my back with what feels like invisible ice.
Snowboarding down a steep hill,
Giving no thought to the possibility of wiping out.
I am from being called “ugly” and “loser” behind my back.
Dreading my classes each day,
fearing the taunting of my so-called friends.
Crying myself to sleep because I’ll never amount to their standards.
I am from stomping down the hallway,
blasting “Seven Nation Army” on my piccolo,
Elly leading the way with her tuba,
uniting the Warhawks as they clapped along to us playing.
I am from having a new best friend,
playing video games or swimming,
spontaneous wrestling matches erupting from nowhere.
because that’s what best friends do.
I am from the shocking, gut-wrenching news…
Mom has cancer.
The pain shattering my world,
breaking me down in tears.
My parents praying for my mother’s health,
that she’d live, that we’d all make through.
I am going to be from extensive searching for college to attend.
Eventually on my own,
living my life as an epidemiologist,
exploring diseases and the gruesome effects on humans,
blood bursting from the body for unexplained reasons,
victims of an unknown disease seizing uncontrollably, maybe even resorting to self-cannibalism,
putting my life at stake to find a cure.
Someday I’ll have a husband, maybe children.
I am going to be from slowly aging with my husband,
waking up each morning with a new gray hair on my head.
One day I’ll be dead.