I am from the backyard olive tree,
Sunny afternoons glistening off the grape vines,
From jasmine flowers and rose water,
Fresh herbs and exotic spices.
The peaceful beauty of suburbia,
A Golden State,
The image of perfection.
I am from soccer balls and shin guards,
Grassy fields and bruised legs.
From loving teammates and lifelong friendships,
Obligatory torture sessions,
The persistent ache after a tournament,
A loving hatred an athlete develops,
The sport that consumed my life.
I am from endless energy,
Emotional fighters and stubborn lovers,
From “you have a male personality,”
And “girls, go help in the kitchen!”
The Arab-Hispanic hybrid,
A father who fought in the Lebanese civil war,
The mother whose identity depended on her children.
I am from books and bows,
Tan baby dolls and Theresa barbies,
From the brave heroines in my favorite novels,
Battling their demons while I run from my own,
The cultural hybrid of a liberal-conservative conflict,
A broken family haphazardly patched up,
The pain that never fades away.
I am from the nomads,
Searching for a shelter,
Running from their homes.