when you really think about it, you realize we are not at all ourselves. what we often refer to as self is rather a collection of everyone we’ve interacted with. borrowed, reshaped, and performed as we choose. worn, like clothing, to attain different things. jobs. friends. lovers. children. money. personality and culture are such deeply woven threads, while constantly evolving with each generation. food highlights the similarities between us all as human beings. the ways bread crosses oceans.

I notice it in my speech. the ways I carry toronto and trinidad and cote d’ivoire and kingston on my tongue. the ways past lovers fall out of my mouth on occasion. or my parents. who am I really?

© Shane Sartor 2021

I. AM.

all of the above. and more. I am all of my ancestors and those they interacted with too.

the fruit vendor. ducta bwoi. the stall man. the helper. the cashier. sicci. schoola. rasta. bus preachers. teacher. banker. gunman. healer. mother. father. sibling. elder. yute. puss. dog. mongoose. cow. goat. parrot. tree. stone. east. west. north. south. indigenous. european. african. asian. caribbean. jamaica. sun. sea. sky. water. earth. moon.

not of this world, but a part of it. all. and nothing. and everyone who is, was, and will be. we are the intersections of the web. sometimes we break and mend and stretch and join together in unexpected ways. in those moments we shine brighter like crossing stars, and the world is a little better for our joy. and just like stars, our lights go out and new ones are born and the web glows and dances in the patterns of life and death and rebirth. we are because we were before and always will be. I am you are we. anhan katu.

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