i can eat fire

i can eat fire.

i can make change.

i can see the world through dozens of lenses.

i can code switch in so many ways.

i can grill a burger and work a window.

i can bus tables, wash dishes, and haul trash.

i can manually labor in the dead of summer.

i can pick fruit, prune trees, and mow a field.

i can run on a jetty, catch a fish, and dive off a ship’s rigging.

i can canoe and hike and camp. i can swim and sail and drive.

i can hold a conversation, adjudicate a conflict, and deescalate a crisis.

i can counsel a survivor.

i can change lives and save them.

i can care for the terminally ill.

i can make people feel less alone.

i can make other people happy.

i can be considerate and kind, selfish and cruel.

i can figure out the pressure points of a social situation, and push.

i can act and lie. i can bullshit like a master.

i can navigate in places I’ve never been.

i can fix a computer. i can find things on the internet.

i can analyze data. i can teach a class.

i can train people to do their job.

i can read a legal code or contract.

i can pass the bar. i can write a judicial opinion.

i can investigate cases.

i can edit a book, journal, or essay.

i can program a conference.

i can speak in public.

i can play office politics.

i can write policy for politicians.

i can write words that move people.

i can read Latin and muddle through Ancient Greek.

i can tell you about the history of Rome and New Vegas.

i can tell you about 20th century history, seen through the lens of a detective novelist.

i can tell you about Canarsie, East New York, and Jamaica Queens; about Maine, Philadelphia, and East Bumblefuck.

i can tell you about the history of Christianity.

i can tell you why the crime spiked in the 70s.

i can tell you the flaws in America’s drug laws, and what a better system looks like.

i can tell you about being 17 alone in the streets of Hanoi, or about being 18 and in love in Rome.

i can tell you about loving, abusive, and kinky relationships.

i can love, unabashed and unreserved.

i can sing and dance when no one is watching.

i can sleep in a car, on a boat, or on a hardwood board.

i can get stuck in the past.

i can mourn a friend.

i can go into flow.

i can go without eating.

i can take so much abuse.

i can make it out of the woods.

i can change and evolve and grow.

i can do so many things, but loving myself isn’t one of them.

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