Scars

10 July 2015

Poetry By Karen Wang


When I meet him, he will ask about my scars.

He will run the pads of his fingertips along its grooves, lightly,

acquainting himself with the hard lines and soft ridges.

I’ll tell him stories of your immaturity, of your detachment, of your lies.

My heart might beat a step faster, in memory of a feeling I’ve long forgotten.

But what I won’t tell him—

is why I wear nothing but black and other shades of black,

or what stories the etchings on my body tell,

or how heartbreak tastes of Chardonnay, incense, and bile.

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New Year, Still Me

Around about now is when you start seeing New Year’s Resolutions pop up everywhere you look.

Like, “live in the moment” and “work out at least three times a week”. But for once, I won’t be partaking in such behavior. I’ve been done with the, “after the New Year” routine since I started standing up for myself. Like saying ‘no thank you’ when my friends invite me out to TITS on a Thursday. Not because I don’t love an occasional blurry night of “wait, what was your name again?” and numb limbs, but because I genuinely would rather lie in bed, watch vegan-cooking videos, and hit the yoga mat in the morning. But also because I’ve never really felt momentum in my life until now. I’ve been hand-held, spoon-fed, and shadow-hidden since before I can remember, but it’s about time I took matters into my own will.

I am now twenty-one and I’ve just finished my last fall semester as an undergraduate.

Cue awe’s and probing inquisitions about what I’m planning to do with the rest of my life. I’m certainly anxious to be graduating in just a few short months, but more than anything, I’m hopeful.

I’m on my way, I’ve been telling myself.

All these years of self-doubt and second-guessing and trying so hard to be different because I can’t stand getting lost in a crowd culminating into one triumphant apex. And then it’s just over. But even more horrifying is that moment when all some people have left is the thousands of fading memories uploaded to Facebook and saved from Snapchat gathering dust in virtual photo albums.

“I’m trying to be a better person,” I’ve been telling people.

Slowly, and in various experimental non-destructive methods, but nevertheless better. While “being better” can mean so many different things, my version is synonymous with fulfilling. Fulfillment through doing things I’ve always loved but in ways I never would have regarded possible.

“I’m an aspiring vegetarian with vegan tendencies,” I’ve been telling people.

I repeat, aspiring, because people need labels. But also because the world needs saving and I’m going to try my best to do just that. (This topic in itself warrants an entirely separate post.)

“I meditate and I write a lot of sappy heart-gripping poetry,” I’ve been telling people.

Because developing a relationship with my emotions allows me to truly understand who I’m becoming. And because being unapologetically me by pouring my soul onto (virtual) paper is so damn rewarding.

I can finally feel this life coming together around me, as if I’ve been collecting tiny glass beads all these years. While some have slipped from my fingers, others, if I hold on with enough vigor, are mine to keep. I’ve begun to take responsibility for my own actions and voiced my thoughts because they deserve to be heard. And I’ve come to realize that some people are still just hiding in the corner, afraid of the dark, and there they will linger until they willingly choose to leave. And so it goes.

So for this New Year, 2016, I’ll raise my glass to standing up for what I believe in, to staying on the grind, to remaining humble, to saving the planet, to very loud and very soft, to unconditional love for my family, to quality friends, to self-exploration and self-expression, and to looking in the mirror on January 1st and telling myself, “Yeah, that’s right. New year, still me.”

 

Silver Linings

14 July 2015

Poetry By Karen Wang


Trust me, it always takes a few days.

That sting will feel more like just-a-bite, that blood will congeal and turn a deeper red—

resembling dusty roses rather than an unapologetic shade of lipstick.

Your heart will sigh a little softer. You will not schedule time for dwelling, much less crying,

so swallow hard on the ‘i miss you’ for now.