Tuesday, December 16, 2008

origins

i am from the hazy days of summer
where the pavement bends and the subway tracks quiver in midair
where blonde babies run through sprinklers in their backyards
an the air conditioner ticks to life, the sound like a miracle
i am from the fall, when the color of the combines blends with the green of the cornfields
where schools are ripe with the anticipation of september
and the crisp, white notebooks have scarcely been written in
from football games and school spirit, and homecoming week when everyone
drives their tractors to school.
i am from the snow of the heartland, blanketing so deeply the world it falls in
from the before-bed snacks of peanut butter sandwiches by the fire,
being wrapped in fresh-from-the-dryer towels
from fresh flannel sheets against newly-washed skin
i am from the new green leaves and reappearance of legs
from the nights when you no longer need a jacket
from evenings at the river, when the sunsets come later and milk and oreos are a secret snack
i am from alice-leone's closet, full of crinkled dresses with layers of netting
from the bewilderment of Time's Square to my 8-year-old-self
garlic and sage rolls at christmas, the glory of spring break and the
last day of school
the black nylon fabric of cap and gown, the relief of finally getting out
i am from car radios blaring hip-hop and country
in the student parking lot
where the farm boys smoke after school and show off new cowboy boots
i am from a valley in connecticut where teenagers find themselves peers with adults
and everything revolves around what you create: art and relationships
from a place where you don't fear to be yourself
and every day fills a place in you that nothing else can
from a place where you find yourself along the winding, wooded roads.
i am from the concrete jungle of manhattan
east village and upper west side
from the guggenheim and central park,
lincoln center and the bowery
from sandy's "grown-up" shoes and dancing with my feet on top of Dad's
from Mom rubbing my back before bed and Elise's teenage years
I am from the newness of everything
from a first kiss in a driveway and a last kiss in a doorway
i am from the place where covers are flung off because of feeling and
are left off from the heat of the summer night
i am from 4 am when we are still awake,
and everything i want in life is present in that moment
i am from the blue of his eyes, memorizing me without saying anything
and i am from the place where i meet myself,
and everything else falls away.

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