A local creamery made an ice cream flavor that is both chocolate and cayenne pepper. I can’t call myself this because it’s a Latinx palette, in the family of Mexican hot chocolate. My blood type is soda bread, and when my grandmother sailed from Ireland to New York city, she probably thought that ketchup was spicy. What I know for sure is that her son, my father, thought that salsa was an appropriate substitute for tomato sauce. My point is that part of me is cayenne pepper–more of me than I’d like, more of me than I know what to do with. I try to hide it, but even a gentle breeze has everyone feeling me in a way that registers on the Scobbe Scale.
I worry that I was made by a God who phoned it in–
I’m some very strong things while being a vacuum of others.
Mountains of self-help books and TED Talks emphasize vulnerability,
But my real has her own battleground drummer boy.
My vulnerable, my authentic self–
She’s a rebel-rouser. Deep down, I am not a sympathetic woman.
I’m all jagged edges with none fitting anywhere without drawing blood.
Options dwindle these days, and I can’t figure out where I fit, nor can I minimize myself and stay there.
I feel like a dangerous creature
who might be better in exile than in public.
I don’t want that.
I just want to believe that my sharp edges are on purpose,
were intentional in my design,
cleared appropriately by quality control.
I want a reassurance, a breadcrumb in the direction of purpose.
I want less resistance to existing.