I Am

I am not 

the thoughts 

that parade themselves one moment

and light themselves ablaze the next.

I am not

the painful memories 

encased in a golden hue.

I am not 

the shame

loyally waiting by my bedside each night,

nor the shame

that rears her head

whenever I mention my allergies,

nor the shame 

that sweats

anytime anyone asks her 

to do math on the spot,

nor the shame

that has to quickly 

log out of Facebook

after seeing the 17th engagement, 

wedding, new baby announcement 

to stem the flood of self-doubt.

I am

the lyrics that caress

my heart and mind at night. 

I am 

my sunlight-yearning plants,

stretching toward the warmth 

of others.

I am

a pocket full of people

checking in on me every day

because they want to. 

I am 

my own apartment 

and the pride from maintaining it.

I am the shame 

and I am the light. 

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