We Are All Significant Figures by Christina Im

you are a knot of negative space.
you are unraveling. you seek comfort
in areas of doubt.

(this is not a love poem. it never will be.)glass with water

the glass is just a glass.
it doesn’t want to be your worries
or your dreams. stop focusing on
making it half-full
so that you can pretend
that someday you won’t be thirsty.

rip the calico-blue strings of sorrow
out of your head. this will hurt,
a speeding pain that ricochets
down your spinal cord. sometimes
it will try to slither off your tongue,
through your teeth like a lie.
don’t let it. sometimes it will try
to find another way to pierce your skin
with metal and with words.
laugh. laugh.
it is your best and only defense.

we have all wanted to dissolve,
achieve zero. but they tell us —
no, you are a hurricane of everything,
always. zeroes are not
significant figures.

i have said it more than once. it feels like
i have rolled tar over someone’s heart.

people are different from numbers.
you breathe, you step. the earth
recognizes you. the earth is just.
it will remember you: late-night tears left to dry on your pillow,
kisses you gave away, kisses you stole,
how much lighter you were
than gravity. you are significant.
that was never a myth.

it will only be a myth if you make it one,
if you let wet seams seep in too far.
here, take my hand.
don’t be the sad story. be the one
you’ve been waiting to hear.
be the envy of yourself.


Christina Im is an aspirant wordsmith with a pair of glasses, a too-large vocabulary, and a flair for the dramatic. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in several publications, including GREYstone, Foxglove Hymnal, The Plum Collection, and Hogglepot. She currently tinkers away at stories and blogs at lifeisinexpressible.blogspot.com in her prodigiously rainy hometown.
Germ Magazine guest author
… is a contributing guest author for Germ, which means the following criteria (and then some) have been met: possessor of a fresh, original voice; creator of fresh, original content; genius storyteller; superlative speller; fantastic dancer; expert joke teller; handy with a toolbox; brilliant at parties; loves us as much as we love them.



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