I Am Me

Image of Long Story Short Award - 2022
Image of Poetry
I am from oranges, tart and juicy,
with a smell that long lingers under fingernails.
I am from the fireworks that burst
behind your eyelids when you make a wish.
But I am also from the blackberries, sometimes bitter, mostly sweet,
eaten on the back porch to the sound of AC units
and cheering over sports games in the distance,
I am from the TV lights flickering late at night,
shushing under the blankets to not awaken the parents
and water fights from the hose at the crossroads of
Marcus Avenue, Andrei Drive, and Aaron Street.

I am a conglomeration of lilies of the valley and Roman Caesars,
a strange sort of in-between.
I am not un cărlig de rufă,
who permits being bypassed.
I am from stuffing cabbage rolls amidst laughter
and twinkling Christmas lights,
a sort of rite of passage.
I am the songs about sparrows,
swooping and gathering together for warmth, for safety.

From the hurricane of experiences and people and places,
I am me.