Five billion years ago,
when the sun was still a brilliant youth,
and the galaxy was still finding its feet
among an endless, timeless black canvas,
a planet, moving out of orbit
at forty thousand miles per hour, nearly destroyed earth.
Nearly. Just near and far enough
that the core of the earth and this alien planet merged,
that the earth was tilted ever so slightly that sunlight could hit it at an angle
and the north would have spring and the south would have fall.
That the pieces of earth's outer crust would blast off into space,
join together, and become the white, spherical life-bringer of the night.
That this new crust, thin, and fragile,
would begin to move under oceans and over molten rock,
collide, and create this land that we stand on.
This land, these living particles of earth, these remains of my ancestors,
the first earth-rim-roamers, single-celled beings,
that walked over this hellish, infantile earth
and were caught in this upward battle for survival.
They died, but their mightier sons and daughters were gifted.
They absorbed the youthful sunlight and filled the ocean with the breath of life
that spilled into the atmosphere to create a blue sky.
And we were blessed with lungs to take in this blue sky,
and we were blessed with eyes
to see the foliage wrapping itself over a broken Pangaea,
and we were blessed with legs
to pave paths across countries,
and we were blessed with voices
so that we may sing songs about how we got here,
how women first donned pants instead of skirts
and rejected a life of constant obedience and childbirth
to allow girls like me to dream the same dreams as men,
how slaves rose against their masters,
branded their own art so that
America could see people of all colors as human beings,
how two lovers left the comforts of their home
to bask in the unpredictable promises of this nation
and created me, blood from the East, mind of the West,
blessed with time. Time.
I am a seventeen year old miracle walking along five billlion years of history,
who reaps the benefits of a thousand victories,
who came to be from a thousand accidents,
who might have never known what it was like
to breath the seconds away, to experience moments of impossibility,
to have a heart that beats the rhythm of life.