Questionable Magic

questionable magic

I can decide who I am.
And I can decide who I am not.
But I can’t decide who others think I am.

And that is a difficult part of life.
Because who I am to myself and who I am
to everyone else
is rarely the same person.

And how does that make sense?
How is one person
in the face of the whole world?

This is no swan song pronouncement.
This is the point of all my songs:
How do I decide who I am when
every person in the world is telling me something

How do I decide who I am not
when the very fibers of my heart
spin outward,
opposite heartstrings
tugging east and west,
driving me toward sun and moon and stars?

Because this is the story I thought I would’ve told by now.
That girl, fourteen,
discovering that her voice makes other people feel things –

That girl made a decision to bear her soul
to a world that called her
too many names.
She decided that who she was
was a poet and a thinker.
A storyteller
and a magician;
a weaver of invisible abstractions,
of threads too thin for others to slip through a needle.

She made a decision to start a tapestry
that even she couldn’t imagine.

And I think she discovered,
year after year,
poem after poem,
night after night of spinning thoughts into words
and words into stories
and stories into golden patchwork quilts fit for queens and paupers –

I think she discovered that she still never got a grasp on her own soul.
And maybe that she never would.
And maybe that she never wanted to.

Every moment spent trying to be somebody
for somebody else,
till she was telling the stories so loudly and so boldly that
she lost herself.

realizing it.

Is that how it happens?
Do you become the person you are
without deciding to become the person
you are?
Is that how it was supposed to happen?

Do we write ourselves into our own stories?

Do I let every poem end unresolved
because mysteries are all that girl ever knew how to write?

She was a poet and a magician.

She thought so.

Did I make a decision
to make myself
to my self?