Poem: Where I’m From

January 28, 2015 9:57 pm0 comments by:

I’m from swaying coastlines and clichéd continents.
I learned languages so divergent,in places as different as vegetarian pigs and carnivorous plants.
I’m from sunshine that lulls you to sleep and sand that exfoliates more than just your feet.
I’m from the smell of tamales on the corner of Market.
I’m from different cultures and languages, from Spanish to Kenyan.
I’m from mothers yelling at their doorsteps in voices uncomprehended, they yell in different tongues but with the same expressions.
“Get Back in the house” “Ingia kwa nyumbani” they shout, the same look of indignant concern mirrored in their rainbow of faces.
I’m from diversity, from the world that has been fit into each of my neighborhoods.
I’m from subtle beauty and sharp ugliness, both equally mesmerizing.
They camouflage easily, on streets both classy and urban.
I’m from islands, seas and beaches, Mission, Pacific to Coronado.
I’m from dancing sand castles and traveling surfboards that captured the silliness of my ten year old imagination.
I grew up on two oceans, and their crisp yet fishy scents and tastes.
I’m from the screaming matches at the dormitory where I went to boarding school, It stood right off this cliff and somewhat loomed over the edge of the city, and yet as creepy as it was it’s where I learned to make friends.
I’m from the detentions I walked right into when I did something I wasn’t supposed to, ironically it’s where I became adventurous and discovered my love of literature and reading.
I’m from diving out of planes and jetting off in plains.
I’m from interceptions at airports because of my last name.
I’m from outdoor markets and in-door malls.
I’m from the Indian Ocean where I once almost drowned.
I got attacked by possessed seaweed but no one believed me.
I’m from platters of cornbread, samosas, chutney, fried chicken, enchiladas and so much more served at Sunday dinners at grandma’s, half the neighborhood would show up.
I’m from the comforts of home, in different cities that hug me tightly.
I’m from concrete streets whose cracks are embedded with dandelions and daisies, no matter how bad things get, there is always something to smile about.
I’m from my father’s morning chai—the cardamom, cinnamon and cloves that were used to make it would leave a lingering aroma that made you swear you were in the heart of India when you came through the door of our small two bedroom apartment in east San Diego.
I’m from my brother’s footsteps pitter pattering at my door.
How dare anyone else be asleep when he’s awake?
I’m from early sunrises that beautifully blind and erase awkward nights when you know the morning brings goodbyes and close knit hearts.
I’m from late nights at the hookah lounges where guys named Omar spouts Arabic poetry in room filled with sweet smelling smoke.
“Habibi Habibi” “My love my love” He proclaims, one hand on his heart and the other holding a hose to his mouth as he exhales drifting smoke.
I’m from different corners of the world and even when everyone sleeps, I lay awake,taking in all the sights, sounds and scents of where I’m from.

By: Fatima Ibrahim

She is a college student at University of California, Riverside. She was raised in San Diego, but has lived in a few different countries including Kenya.She is the self-proclaimed queen of weird and has plans of taking over the world one day. Fatima recently came out as writer even though She is been secretly writing since elementary school. She speaks English, Somali, and broken Swahili and hopes to one day live in a world which she can believe in again.

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