Jennifer Angelina Petro
I am not from around here.
I came from up there–the sky.
When I entered your gravitational pull
I vanished into a womb
And woke up one day
An intersexed jarble
Of cells and screams.
As I assembled over your earth years,
I tried to fit in to the norms and customs
Of this place, except my ways
Of being didn’t quite align with those
Of the people nearest me, so they tried
To chisel me down, hone
Me into something that better matched
Their perceptions of what they thought I should be.
Yes, I still possessed my super powers.
I could have melted them with my eyes,
I could have spoken the language
Of my cousins—the cicadas—and droned them
Into a pulp. I could have also lifted into the night
Like an untethered star anytime
I wanted to. But something
Kept me here, something kept me
From destroying everything in my path.
Something itched from the inside of my skin,
Something began erasing my memories
Of my other life one by one,
And it was increasingly delightful.
And even though I had morphed
Many times for the conveniences
Of space travel, this transformation
Was wholly unprecedented, and divine.
Over time, (which is what they call the experience
Of fear around here), it became apparent
That this inside being wasn’t
Inside at all—it was the whole shebang—
It was the totality of who I was,
And one day the pod cracked
And there I was, an alien unto everyone
Except myself–a sister from another planet.
And I still had my super powers.
I read minds and listened to hearts,
I learned when to hide,
I secretly saved lives in alleyways deep in the city,
Only to disappear into a puddle– lamp-lit with rain.
I could harness lightening and change entire days
Into moments of power and flame,
I could breathe finally in an atmosphere
I didn’t realize I had been suffocating in.
Now, the helmet’s gone, or at very least,
Unneeded. The space suit
I traveled in slowly disintegrates from view,
And I roam this terrestrial place
Hiding in plain sight, gradually forgetting
Where I came from,
Looking for instructions on how
To fit into this life so that ultimately,
I can remember the way home–
For now, there is no name for me,
There is no place for me to rest my head.
I am lost, found, dissolving, evolving,
And aching to be seen for who I really am—for who you really are—
For who we all are, so that one day,
When they come looking for me,
They won’t find me—and they will take you back with them instead
With the hopes of discovering why
So many wanted me gone.