5 Foot Giant

By: Elena Unger

The world is large, but so am I.
An ocean of confused compassion
rolls through my veins,
and I balance boulders 
on unmanicured fingertips. 

When the world raises its voice,
tides of hate bloom from boiling blood.
But my voice can shake the ground, too.
My whispers spin webs of silence,
deep and delicate as the scent of lavender. 

Sometimes I think my footsteps vanish —
swallowed up by the infinite abyss of 
soil and sky. But then I remember
that my feet carry the weight 
of molten memories:

the time I took a shot at my sister,
my balled fist leaving a trail of blood 
dripping from her nose;
the time I held my mother’s shoulders,
being her breath 
as she shivered through tides of heaving sobs;
the year where I refused to eat dinner;
the year where I was nothing 
more than a corpse.

These moments are branded on my throat.
They sing incessant whispers 
of guilt and grief — the same soundtrack
that plagues the mind of my 
across-the-street neighbor. 
I guess my film reel of hurt 
tethers me
to a bustling mass of humanity
connects me
to an accordion of paper dolls come to life.
Hand in hand we shout up at the clouds,
The world is large, but so are we.