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Am I Being Sensitive, Or...?

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.

my friends

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

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