Tell me who I Am

As a child I used to grab empty soup cans and string-put one to my ear, and listen

All I ever heard was wind, wishing someone would talk to me

Wishing I could find a way to talk first

I am the child that was made of silence and wind,

Letting nothingness whisper to me

Holding onto the cans attached to string wishing,

that one day I would grow

I have listened to one end of the can for a long time

Wanting someone to tell me who I am

Someone to say, this is who you will become

That I didn’t have to think about it anymore

The expectations at the time people placed on my five year old self were too large at the time

In pre-school my teacher asked me what I wanted to major in college

I said “dinosaurs”

I went home listened to my end of the can, asking if I was right about my major-no one answered

No one ever seemed to answer

Empty cans became empty words

Became the shouts of a child that carried on for 12 years

Became the ears of others

With my voice begging for someone to say this is who you are

This is who you’ll become

They finally came

feeding down the unwanted careers of engineer and lawyer

But, the other side of the can was finally responding

The other side of the can was finally answering my questions

The string reaching out of windows, instead of staying on my floor

But I was not what they wanted me to be

I am not what they wanted me to be

I am not straight

Not cis

Not latina enough

Not white enough

Not pursuing law

Not pursuing science

My brain doesn’t always listen to me

And when you answered the other side of the can,

you begged for my brain to stop-when it can’t

I am not focused on being detached any longer

I am surplus of feelings

I am singer of hymns

I am writer

I am bundle of anxiety and depression

I am a theater kid

I am a poet

I am a speech and debate kid

I am caregiver of others

I am a church kid

I am broken down

I am not asking the other side of the can for the answers anymore

I have cut the string off

I have thrown out the old soup cans that have held me down

As a child I used to grab empty soup cans and string-put one to my ear, and listen

Wanting to hear bullshit, so I didn’t have to think anymore







 

This poem is about: 
Me

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