(Now) I Am

When I was 5

I dreamed of the ocean,

slept in the dance of

the sweet sea.

When I was 21,

I figured birthdays had, mostly,

lost their importance.

When I grew up I thought

I didn’t belong in the world.

When I was growing up I

believed I didn’t fit.

When I was 23,

I embarked on this adventure.

When I was 22, I wrote about pain.

When I was looking back, I saw it.

Saw how…

When I was 14, I accrued

cat calls like spare change,

to be placed in a bank of memories.

When I was 15/ 16/ 17

I believed a poetic life was signified by death.

When I was 19

I thought the degree of breaking was inversely related

to the sincerity of love.

When I was 13

I knew something was wrong with me.

When I was 16

I thought failure

was a state of being

rather than a belief.

When I was 21 I barely wrote.

When I was 18 I thought

I’d die at 27.

When I was 19

I believed addiction was my salvation.

When I was 13/ 14/ 15/ 16/ 17/ 18/19

I believed my body was the sole power

I would ever possess.

And that eyes upon me

made my skin into constellations.

When I was young

I buried my heart in my throat;

I buried my desire in my belly;

I buried my ache in my skin.

When I was growing up

I believed every birthday meant more than it ever

turned out to.

When I was 15

I assumed boys would grow into men

and girls like me would always be just that.

Now I am 23

and I don’t know whether I’m a girl

or a woman.

Now I am 23

and failure is a state of mind, not

a state of being.

Now I am 23

and I can’t decide whether I hate my body

or I’m just afraid to let go.

Now I am 23.

I am fragile, still.

I am steady,

I am boring,

I am in love,

I am myself.

Now I am 24

and I know the most poetic of lives

are those lived in the pursuit of creating joy.

Now I am 24

and the world is on pause,

the uncertainty a great weight.

now is the time for healing,

it was never not the time for healing.

Now I am 24

and I’m continuing to learn who

I am.

Now I am 24

and the world keeps spinning, I

keep wondering, I

don’t know what’s next.

Yet I do know

what I’ve learned,

how I’ve loved,

what I’ve wrote,

and how I have lived.


I know more and more who I am not.


I am becoming exactly

who I am.

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