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.