Amanda C. Brainerd and Michelle Greco

Amanda C. Brainerd

Origin Story
By Michelle Greco
Inspiration piece

I’m from a neighborhood
where kids put you in a schoolyard headlock
in third grade.
I’m from stained glass. Jesus
looks down on everyone—melancholy.
I’m from sneakers strung
on telephone pole wires.
I’m from a place with no trolley cars
but plenty of subwoofer bumps.
I’m from Rasta and black
and spiked Kool-Aid, though I’m none of
those things.

I’m from cilantro y arroz amarillo,
I’m from mangoes eaten whole
in a garden growing a pine tree.
I’m from a snowball thrown
by my aunt’s teenage boyfriend
to the top of our brick apartment building—
the mark lasted all winter.

Then I asked her what love felt like
because she knew everything then.
I’m from a rusty-red Honda with a
kickback/stickshift tapedeck.
I’m from Metallica and Guns N Roses
and the Doors.

I’m from thick black hair and
bangs that stuck to my face
when my four-year-old self sweat.
I’m from frontyard kickball
with all the neighborhood kids
until dusk, the youngest asking
me about owls because
I knew everything then.

I’m from greased-back ponytails
and hoop earrings with my name in them—
though I’m none of those things.
I’m from urban but strut high-class
and speak city slick.

I’m from Battlestar, Doctor Who,
space ships that pew pew.
I’m from pixie cuts, red dresses,
lipsticked velociraptors.
I’m from rum then whiskey—
the burn that runs warm.

I’ve known love, I’ve known lust
and I know nothing now but this—
I contain multitudes.


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One Comment

  1. Posted June 16, 2015 at 9:59 am | #

    I love both pieces! We just finished working with 7th and 8th graders on I am From poems so this is fantastic timing! And I adore where Michelle is from . . .