Creative Writing Local

“What I Am”

Words by: Molly Schmidt
Image credit: Molly Schmidt

 What I Am 

I am eyes
I am nose
I am mouth.
I am beating heart
I am free soul.

I see
I smell
I taste
I hear
I feel
I am alive.

So many eyes
So many noses
So many mouths,
Ears, fingers, toes.
Beating hearts,
Free souls.

What do you see?
What do you hear?
Are you you before you see?
Before you hear?
What are you, without seeing?
What is a soul without a body?
What is it really?
What are we, really?
You and me.

In the city we walk
             We talk, we hurry
                     We run, we sip coffee
                 Listen to buskers.
Am I the chords of the electric guitar
As the vibrations of sound
Resonate in my mind?
Am I the busker’s voice
That helps me to unwind?
Am I the tea
          I sip slowly
That’s scalds my tongue
If not sipped carefully?
Am I the memories
The busker’s music brings to mind
                Of the places I’ve been
                      Moments left behind?
Am I the sound of my pen
Scratching occasionally on the page?
Am I in the ink?
     This ink
Is it me?
Am I the taste of a Florentine?
The sound of the wind
In the maple trees
Am I in the sun
Or the cool spring breeze?
All of these things
Are they me?

I experience them
But what am I?
Where is the space
Between it
                   and I?
Is there a line
Between the things that we see
                        And that which is seen
That which is heard
                         And that which sings?
This wooden bench presses firm on my back
I can press on it – it’s hard yet smooth
Does it feel back?
Is there a space between it and I
Between the felt
        And the feeling
Is there a line?

Two different buskers play at the same time
Two different songs
Together it’s not nice.
Two different songs
Create one sound
Is there a line?
Both are sound, vibrations in the air
There’s a line.
But where?

We are not just bodies
So what are we?
Are we in the air
In the falling leaves?
Is there a line
Between the universe
And me?
Is there a line?
What are we?