Snowy Own Totem

Because they don’t understand you can soar without them

they used to say potential like it was a life-sentence
achievement, like a weight around your neck
expectation to be smoked away like cigarettes, into toxic vapour
sitting on the roof at midnight mourning nothing
and the letting go of medals pinned to your skin without your permission

now they say impressive like a consolation, so proud of you
delicately inserting ornamental feathers in the wireframe shell of your wings
because they don’t understand you can soar without them
and you smile because you are earth and air and fire and water and
the bird that lands on your outstretched arm in dreams of ice and storms reminds you

yes, this is beautiful
this is still beautiful

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