I am I am I am by Brooke Capuano (Aims Review Literary Award Winner)

I am from unfolded laundry.

        In piles in the dark, swept under the rug, but you should not acknowledge either.

        Not the rug, nor the laundry.

I am from mildew and stale air.

But I am cotton that is warm and water that flows in the gutter.

I am what wallows in the sun but can no longer breathe.

I am faded and warped.

And I am the roots of a tree.


I am from crushed beer cans.

        Take out the trash once it can’t be condensed any further,

        The floor is like the ground beneath an apple tree.

Stale chips and spoiled milk

        Let the cup join the cans.


I am from rainstorms that only I remember.

From conversing to feeling like I lay down a pile of eggshells.

        Try walking without breaking a single shell.

And choosing silence over spoken words to create ease against myself.



I am from the slamming doors,

Either an alcoholic father or crying mother on the other side.

Flip flops that carry down the stream between road and walk.

        I still chase after them in my dreams,

        I still take off my flip flops when I see a flowing stream.

I am gentle.

Like cotton or rainstorms or the roots under trees.

And I am not unfolded laundry.