Strength

Poetry by Karen J. Wang

2 January 2016


Strength does not feel like iron bars growing in the place of soft flesh.

She’s more like shallow breaths and balmy temples.

Show me strength disguised in a cape and shield,

And I’ll show you faint and dark scars across my chest.

Strength strikes with a vengeance at night.

She is crippling, abusive, and so damn heavy.

Dry throat and fuzzy head, I’ve grown an interest in ceiling fans and carpet.

Strength sings you to sleep at night with the pattering of tears on the pillow

and shakes you awake at odd hours just to scream, “You Are Alone”.

People are talking and I can’t hear a word they’re saying,

So I count the beats of my heart with the ticking of the clock in the other room.

Strength feels like forgiveness on the tip of your tongue

held back by memories too painful to recall.

But I’ll play them over and over and over until my vision blurs

and even your name sounds foreign in my voice.

Strength does not feel like “I’m my own superhero”,

She’s more like silent screams and tears hotter than my bath water.

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