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I am

by Shawnacy Perez

I am the needle spaceship, touched down on a vinyl record planet
Spinning in purple song in your soul.

I am the brown haphazard cloud of dust
That follows you down dirt roads
In your body automobile.

I am the scarred and wrinkled hands
Of the old men on park benches
Playing chess.
And I shine like new-birthed beauty
In the green morning light
Drifting between the branches
Of hawthorne trees.

I am a field of feathers
Growing in long, luxuriant plume
In the sunlight
And one of these windy days
I’ll move all my feathers as one
And with a whoosh,
Grab hold of the air and
Lift my whole feather-field body into the sky.
A winged continent.

I am an explosion of electric
Unkillable zombie joy
And I skip down hills
Glad-handing all the trees.

I am a soldier of the apathy wars
A soldier of relentless joy,
And my heart is a magical hand grenade
And it can explode into shrapnel
A hundred times-
A thousand-
And still beat.

I am an open ear
And all day long I listen for the
Graveyard ringing of bells,
The ones that hang over the tombs
Of truths,
Buried alive.

I am the ghost of wild horses
That used to thunder and scorch
Across the open mind
Of America.
But there’s not much open about America’s mind
Anymore, so we paw at the memories
Of old books
And snort and shake our heads
And vow to ride again.

I am nothing to speak of,
But I can hold my small golden soul in my hand
And I can hold yours too,
And they can hang there
In mutual revolution, like binary stars,
In the infinite space
Between my fingers.

I am the mote in your brother’s eye
And I am the beam in yours.

I am everything that shakes you
To your molten center
Where the iron filings align
And the twirling machine of you
Is set in motion by the wings of birds.

I am a 350 year old slice of Basho’s mind,
Time travel Haiku,
Scrawled in bold ink across tomorrow’s
War headlines.
Lotus flowers singing dirges
Above the bodies of the dead

I am all these things.
And you are these things.

So, wake up each morning
And say these words
I am a poem
Inscribed on the very palms
of the hands
of God.

And I am as vast as I choose to be.
And I choose to be vast.
Ocean-vast, universe-vast, idea-vast.

There is I AM
And there is I am.
And I am not I AM, but I am
what I am.

Just as you are what you are.

We are the cracks.
The burned places.
The bits that don’t quite fit together, and there are glimpses to be caught
In the spaces and the mistakes and the imperfections
Glimpses that sing.
Glimpses that make us fall in love with being.
Glimpses that are nothing but light.

And today let’s make a pact.
That when you forget these things
And when I do
We’ll meet back here
In this place.
Wherever you are.
In the world,
Whatever stanza of the poem
You’re fighting through
Just come back.
And hear these words once again
And know who you are
Know the bigness of your soul
And the unreachable mountain heights of
Your holy possible

Drink of these words
Like water.
Like wine
Like wonder.
Drink and drink and drink
Until you are so filled and saturated
That you spill again into the wide and waiting world
Like niagras made of you
In all your wheeling colors.

Splashing over mountains
In tidal waves of frothing red
And slow, turquoise rivers,
Placid emerald lakes,
And purple sunset oceans,
and geysers of orange,
dripping down the walls of the planet
like Jackson Pollock’s final dream.

I will dip my hands into your paintbox soul
Up to the elbows
And I will wash the earth with your beauty
In fingerpaint frenzy.

For you are the limitless universe
Of every single open door, waiting.

And I will walk through them all.


Posted on 06/12/2011
Copyright © 2024 Shawnacy Perez

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 06/12/11 at 08:58 PM

Wonderful, creative energy running through the form and imagery of this. Those opening lines are amazing.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 07/20/11 at 08:44 PM

Quite remarkable. I feel Whitman here, but with a broader brush; you, the contemporary moving past and forward with great ease. Highest marks - deserves many readings. Thank you.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 12/09/15 at 03:55 PM

Good to read this brilliant piece again. It resounds and I am in awe.

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