Identity

by Eliza K., age 13
Identity Eliza is thirteen years old. She enjoys politics, cooking and being with her family. She loves writing and reading.

“isn’t it
euphoric
when
you open your
mouth
and you
hear harmony?
a string of sounds.
that make
perfect
sense?”

Pride 1 (Meanings)

lions stick with their groups,

their prides.

what is pride?

well to a lion it is their family.

to a human, it is their self regard.

to me it is both.

pride is my home.

pride is my month.

where i can be unapologetically me.

where you can be unapologetically you

the month where big corporations see you.

maybe for their own benefit,

but you feel seen.

and it feels amazing.

Pride 2 (Sidewalk)

waiting.

the sign said one o’clock

the policeman said three thirty

the volunteer says thirty minutes more.

it’s been hours since each said anything.

the sidewalk is the worst place to sit;

hard and scratchy.

waiting.

it better be worth it.

it better be rainbows and love and

warmth and

happiness.

the storm clouds better stop their threats

of rain and thunder.

empty promises that are made of

high and loud cheers.

and then the drums start. 

and the clouds are an empty threat.

and the cheers give hope.

and the sidewalk is the most cushioned chair.

and it’s rainbows, and love

and warmth and

happiness.

Pride 3 (Reason)

this is uplifting.

this is community.

these are my people. 

this is my culture.

my history.

this isn’t a choice.

this isn’t a lifestyle.

we ARE obeying love.

we are at home. 

it won’t be destroyed or 

deemed unsafe.

it is our home

Pride 4

the confetti curbs

rainbow pupils all over.

i am in my own.

ADHD 1 (School)

the window is preferred.

not the chalkboard. 

i’m sorry i can’t help myself.

the trees sway so beautifully and 

i hate this.

i hate how my grape flavored focus

melts away and turns bitter.

i hate that 20 i got on the math test.

i hate that i have to work twice as hard.

i hate that i have become my 

disorder.

i hate that it’s i’ve turned it into an excuse.

i hate that i can wield it against people

but then the blade always hits me afterwards.

i hate that i hate something that i can’t change. 

ADHD 2 (Staring Contest)

a staring contest.

you can look into my eyes.

they seem empty, 

soulless. 

but they are not.

right behind them, you’ll find my brain,

it’s thinking a thought a second.

after you blink, i’ll keep staring.

maybe on purpose. 

maybe by mistake.

and then i become me again.

ADHD 3 (Impulse)

my brain’s mantra seems to be
YOLO.

my brain seems to be

back in 2013. 

a fraternity

boy.
maybe that’s why i like girls.

he sees one thing and turns it 

into a toy or a joke.

always tugging me along.

dragging me 

left,

right

Up

down

when did he take over? 

ADHD 4

my mind waltzes ‘round

my hands can’t be held down now

the leg bounce™ begins

Judaism 1 (Reading)

letters

with sharp edges.

cutting your throat

with each ch.

vowels that

you can’t read without.

is it possible

to have dyslexia

in only one language?

everybody

knows the tongue.

why doesn’t the torah

have transliteration?

give me another crutch.

but wait… 

what is this?

memory?

all of the sharp tones

and letters

are mine.

to keep.

to savor

to love.

Judaism 2 (Bat Mitzvah)

a hummingbird’s heart

beats at 1,260 a

minute.

i feel like a hummingbird.

my heart feels like

it is making rounds

around my body.

my throat

then my stomach. 

acting like a bouncy ball.

then i have to stand.

my voice carries.

i am floating.

the bumblebees

on my high heels

buzz up to the flowers on my dress.

a juxtaposition of simple and detailed.

both bought from the same store.

i am in my element.

Judaism 3 (G-d)

a third grader

questioning her 

rabbi.

“why is G-d

always

portrayed as male?”

she could

ask anything.

always he

never she

or they

if G-d is

everywhere

then why isn’t 

G-d everyone?

G-d is

non-bianary.

sorry talmud.

Judaism 4 (Synagogue)

mosaics of love

a window of stars, flowers

an unused organ.

Music 1 (Singing)

isn’t it

euphoric

when

you open your

mouth

and you

hear harmony?

a string of sounds.

that make 

perfect

sense?

is it not wonderful

when you hit all the notes?

like a sixth grade boy

finally reaching the

doorframe

when he jumps?

isn’t it?

all of it

goes together.

when you can

harmonize

with yourself.

any song

sounds

beautiful.

Music 2 (Listening)

i know you

are fake

over produced

yet i cling to each word

savoring it to remember

for later.

each note.

i am a hoarder

i keep each

and every song 

for my own

i even steal some

from my sister.

little bits and pieces

shazam!

a new song has been added 

to my repertoire.

a playlist

for everything

for crying

for showering

for everyday 

commutes.

the notes

run 

through my blood.

who needs

cells

when you have

music?

Music 3 (Childhood)

in the car

a cover

asking

where my mind is.

in the basement

loading songs onto

a cd for a long trip.

peter’s trip cds

that shaped my

childhood.

songs written

by preschoolers

the cow in the cowboy hat.

something about a ladybug

jack and sarah.

ti esrever dna ti

pilf, nwod gniht ym tup 

sweaters unraveling.

parents understanding

me just enjoying the

songs.

the soundtrack to

my girl hood.

fiona apple when we first 

moved to new york.

single ladies when 

i was in preschool.

eminem in fourth grade.

melanie martinez in fifth.

rap in sixth grade.

and everything in seventh.

Music 4

thank you for lessons.

taught me how to dance and sing.

taught me poetry

Identity

i am not 

always

identifiable.

my pale camouflage

hides my thoughts.

my jokes,

hijinks,

ums,

and

pauses,

hide my thoughts.

always try to fill in the blanks

a madlib.

eloquence isn’t controllable.

not quite sugar spice or

everything nice.

not quit snips snails

or puppy dog tails.

a jew.

riddled with

ADHD.

a pansexuel;

a sacrilege.

a contradiction.

yet everything makes

perfect 

sense.

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