I am from flower buds,
From rose thorns and poison ivy.
I am from the soil,
Ancient, alive, soft yet compact.
I am from tree branches, whipping and
Cracking against the skin of my skin.
I’m from kinky hair and brilliant yellowed teeth,
From watchful mother and negligent father.
I am from alcoholics and poverty,
From never trusting and being careful.
I’m from the slave master’s religion, shoved
Down my ancestor’s throats like forced medication.
I’m from Baltimore, from black butterflies losing their wings.
I’m from picking crops and struggle meals.
From the uncle who drugged himself into prison,
From the cousin who drinks until she forgets.
From the pictures in my dead great grandmother’s home.
I am from everywhere and nowhere at all.