I am from the living room sofas;
A stage where dancers come to life and lights darken;
Where the show starts once the doors close.
from Bustelo and Cocoa Butter;
Staples for survival;
Even now the obsession never leaves.
I am from the extraordinary Blackminican tree
and coconut cola garnished with a dash of Sazon and Louisiana.
I am from the tomato
whose life kept my abuelita going and always made the party glow
I am from the slots that made my mama laugh,
The wigs passed on from prime to prime.
I am from the house by the bay
where doggies did what doggies do
Neighbors knew nothing new
And pitches, parties, and playful pings sounded
Kailey, Keith, Kiarra, Daniel, Dan, Jake, John, Ian, Bram, Tom
Mr. Cool and Mr. Officer
Not to mention, Mr. Idiot
The block’s trouble master
All together a familial extraction.
I am from baked macaroni and cheese
from an olive branch given at the dinner table after church
I am from Moraima and Minnie;
When gone all was lost and found
and from mirror obsessors and delayers
from early morning breakdowns
And neurotic tendencies
Blackminican me all year round.
I am from lunch with strangers;
Not really strangers, family all the same.
from hog maws and sancocho;
A first love and a new beginning;
The taste extraordinary, but idea failing;
A bigger piece of roots.
from Puerto Rico to the U.S;
A new commitment;
Without it an admired patriarch wouldn’t exist.
and from one bus ride to a dress and a pound sign
A whole new love is shown
I am from Keys,
And the Notorious
to Nicky Olivicad Jamin’ to the Jagged vibes of the F.A.B.O.L.O.U.S Queen Daigle
I am from Ari and Juni and the rest of the gang
The bedtime companions my parents wish I would abandon,
But I vow to carry with me
School, the 99 cent store, Sandy Hook, Aunt Sophie’s, Pops, Florida, Nicaragua, University
I am from the moments on the stairwells filled with sleep deprived laughter
From the summertime sleepovers in the late night heat
From the Tightwad Tuesdays at Frank’s
From the “Mom’s gone! Hit that radio.”
From the 3 p.m on a Friday karaoke party to Pop’s house
From the Friday night champion scrabble matches
From the Saturday night horror movie marathons
To the Sunday evening recaps back on the sofa
I will be from the child in South Africa
The woman from the Caribbean islands
The man from the next town over
The entrance to their path
The paper for their speech
Where Sunday nights included dinner with the Davis 6
Roomies for life with Yaji and Brody
Named Best Titi in the Universe
Schooling certain soda addicts on health
I will be Kiarra Catalina Nelson
Daughter of the King
Going with the flow
My path is already drawn out for me