Am I Being Sensitive, Or...?
a poem by Hannah Chen
you told me the other day that
wings are made to fly, not to float
aimlessly, waiting for a day where
i can wake up in a dream, not reality.
are you stupid, you asked.
i didn’t answer.
staring at the floor, there i was.
that’s how you see me most days
incapable of any thought, indistinguishable from
the childish handwriting seeping into brain,
inconsistent with what i say.
am i wrong, you asked. like a barrier in-between
my vocal cords and the air.
i said nothing.
you weren’t wrong, i thought. you are never
i wonder when it’s okay to be weak.
tell me that there’s no such thing as weak, only
brilliantly emotional. i wish i could believe them.
each night i overthink in bed, replaying the film,
and i notice the parade, the hollers of joy, around
everybody. they seem happy as they take easy breaths
of oxygen and stumble purposefully on their feet.
smiles tint their faces, except mine.
ha, ha, ha, i want to say. ha, ha, ha.
are you there, listening? have you ever been willing
to listen? maybe i haven’t given you the chance
since i’ve never said anything. you only appreciate me
when i don’t say anything. and, when i do, your eyes burn blue
and your tongue suffocates the air, and i stand
there and watch as you tear the entire place apart,
screaming, wrestling, crying, horrified in madness at my
oh, how could you say that, you cry,
but all i ever did was one harmless rhyme that you misinterpreted
as a crime so, really, how could you say that.
when the fumes stop, i bleed in my room. terrible,
terrible, bleeding. i replay the film once more.
then i ask myself:
am i being sensitive, or… ?
- Hannah Chen