handle with care

my mother calls me a hurricane

but i think i am less storm and more tsunami.


too quickly, my anger dissipates into sadness:

i can never hold onto rage for very long.


see, the world taught me tears but never fury,

fear but never its cause—


some days i feel more freak accident than natural disaster.

i am too proud to admit i am wrong

but too scared to stand my ground.


i have problems with authority figures.

i cry when faced with opposition

but maybe these tears are a defense mechanism.

maybe these tears are all natural selection gave me to express my emotions.


i am the tidal wave

but more than that i am the land and the cities and the people

washed over by the downpour.

i learn to watch for warning signs like

my body shaking from an earthquake like

fluctuations of heartbeat at sea level like

the roar of the ocean in the pit of my stomach like

the way water recedes from coast,

exposing a broken mouth

and lungs that gasp for air



the world doesn’t teach people warning signs

for a girl on the verge of eruption.


there is no instruction manual on how to build a structure out of flesh and bone

strong enough to withstand freak storms and flash floods.


i have been told to be both power and submission:

child wearing vulnerability, naked soul, drowning in seismic sea waves

never remembering to exhale.

soft to touch, easier to fold,

must be evolution, like our tears.

i know boys who weep.

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