I am from curious peeks at life
from staring through unclouded vision,
drinking in the world
like I wouldn’t have a second chance.
I am from wandering hazel eyes and broken expressions,
from asking millions of questions
so I could fill my mind with the world
and then the galaxy with its stars.
I am from snagging willow branches from trees far older than me,
from playing pretend with the sisters next door,
the branches transforming into our steeds
as we galloped across the yard.
I am from asking Mom to turn up the Jeep’s radio,
from when Manheim Steamroller filled the air,
when Christmas trees and glistening snowfall
crowded my thoughts with fantasies.
I am from pixie cut, brunette hair in fourth grade,
from being called a boy at age 9, then giggling at their surprise
and finally wondering if I wasn’t feminine
in my wavy pink dress and blue toe shoes.
I am from learning that life beats you to the finish line,
from jumping back up and running faster next time
—moving forward becomes natural
just like concealing a tear and a thousand words under soft voices and sugared smiles.
I am from begging for a break,
from absent-minded watching through blurry vision
sipping in the world
like I could simply put existing off to tomorrow.