architecture of myself

I began this poem almost five years ago and it never felt complete. It kept running through my mind today and so I returned to it, trying to complete it. It may have never been more true than it is today. I post it here as a step in pledging allegiance to self-awareness, on which I have more to say but it felt important for me to share this, now.

Architecture of Myself

i am not an architectural wonder.
i have built myself into your eyes out of dust.
i have formed pieces like a mosiac. i am a
fractured version of my true being.

i am a facade, a fraud. i have deceived you
into thinking i am strong, sturdy,
able to withstand the storms
but i am fragile, broken,
a pile of stones scattered at your feet.

i cannot bear the urges to confess.
i have said too much already.

i become a wedge, silent, patient,
waiting to crumble at the sound
of falling rain,
the faint whisper of longing from dreams.

i am undone.

i hide in sheltered shadow
between intricate carvings.
just one slip of the tongue
and i am something else.

i am a series of open doors.

i am in a constant state of [de] construction.

though i clothe myself in girlishness,
and surround myself with daisied thoughts
of innocence, there is nothing delicate about me.

i am overgrown with insecurities.

i am an atmosphere,
thick and heavy
like the trees of my childhood,

rooted in many places beneath the ground, deep and muddy with secrets.

i am a tangled garden. a hybrid, victim of cross-pollination.
i am wild with thorns, stretching like vines, encompassing every flower.

i outgrow myself.
i become poetic.
i become philosophical.
i become architectural.

i am a poet, hiding meaning behind my teeth, fiery indiscretions lusting over words, phrasologies that tempt me to forget how soft your mouth is, how simple it is to hold you, to describe your breath on my skin, invisible fingerprints beneath sinew and muscle and bone.

i am the blues. a low backbeat rhythm, dirty and good.

i am an architect. i structure myself to rise above.

i am a writer.
and a liar, a thief, stealing stories from everyone I meet. i conceive myself from fiction and truth.

there are flaws in my design,
a blueprint shaped by Alabama clay,
high tides, kudzu vines and
hurricane eyes.

i am the south. the cadence of my throat. exaggerations and histories. i am traditions and tragedies. i am the slow heat on a long day, the whirring fan on the front porch, a stranger's smile, the sunset on the bayou.

i am a ghost.