so many poets personify themselves in ways I want to get away from-
crawling, running, dancing, dodging, any way I can.
I don’t want to be
or a hurricane
or a tapestry you can unravel
thread by thread.
I can be a flame
and a spark,
and I can bellow thunder.
there are people whose fingers can pull me apart
and separate pictures of the past sliver by sliver
but I am the weaver and I will always remember how to put my memories back together.
I am not out to set you on fire
or douse your own.
I just want to be a person.
and sometimes being a person feels like other things-
sometimes I feel like a sun or a moon or a meteor headed for my home planet,
and sometimes I feel like a river current or a gust of wind or an exhaled breathe,
sometimes I wake up like smoke and fall asleep like a torrential downpour,
and sometimes I live like a bird and sometimes like a sloth and sometimes like a lion-
but I am a person.
sometimes I want to move into the house of words
that a favorite poet of mine once described,
because I do not fit here well enough
but even I have to recognize that people alone have the power to build that house
flimsy as a house of cards
or strong as a steel skyscraper, depending on your tone or flow or diction or state of mind.
but I am a person
and I am not the words I put on the page.
I am not the ink or the paper.
I am not the metaphors I dream up.
I am not the things I compare myself to-
they are reference points, descriptors, not an identity.
I used to identify to closely with dark skies dripping ink like blood-or blood like ink,
and with brilliant flames flickering in the shadows and bright red roses with thorns.
it got me nowhere and I will have nothing to do with it anymore.
I am a person.
I am words, yes,
and I am thoughts and feelings and actions.
people say actions speak louder than words
and words hurt more than sticks and stones,
but regardless the impacts,
I am significant parts notions and emotions and motions.
I am the girl I put down on the page,
but I am also the girl dancing and thinking and watching and listening.
I am a poet-that is laced into my bones.
but that is not the total sum of myself.
I am a poet.
but I am a friend
a caretaker and a sister and a mentor and a writer and a dancer and so much more,
and I am also just a girl.
there is a hurricane inside of me sometimes-
and all the other kinds of rain.
there are sunsets and flowers blooming and dying.
there are chards of ice and trees growing tall
but they exist within the landscape of myself.
the earth is not a single grain of sand
nor am I a single simile-
nor a single poem
or even a single collection of poetry.
I am every word I’ve ever written and so much more.
I want to get away from this identification of metaphors.
I am done believing myself to be a storm.
storms pass and clear skies are born,
and I have weathered it all.
these words form when I lean back into the fray of action and remember that I am a part of it.
the observations are reflections that come later.
I will run or dance or walk or fly or fight until I get to a place where I can just be
in my house
on the weekends
waking up late
in the mornings
who just so happens
to write poetry.