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eye of the storm


our friend said she was like a tornado 
but thinking about it now 
you were the tornado 
i stumbled blindly into your whirlwind 
and kept spinning so fast in it 
that i couldn’t stop and was powerless to leave
and even if i begged you to let me go 
you wouldn’t have heard me 

but every so often 
i was suddenly released 
into the eye of the storm 
where everything was calm and 
our friendship was good 
but before i could even savour it 
you threw me back into your tornado 
and it was the same thing again 

because you pinched me 
when i asked you not to
you lightly punched me 
in the stomach only to realize 
(in awe) 
that i had a flat-ish stomach 
you didn’t always give me 
space just to talk
and ignored me utterly and completely 
you sometimes said hurtful things 
ignoring my reaction and then my existence 

but you also sat with me 
at recess and lunch
our backs pressed together 
as you drew and i wrote 
you loved some of my story ideas 
and the way certain words
looked in my cursive 

do it again you’d say 

write it on the inside cover of my sketchbook 

and then you’d admire it

like you had never seen cursive writing before 

and i was always admiring you 

for your courage and your intelligence 

how you were so incessantly impatient 

making things right when they were wrong 

when i was to scared to do anything 

yet simultaneously soft-spoken with

the special needs student in our class 

the way your art looked and the fire 

that burned constantly in you 

how you were always honest 

and didn’t care about other people’s opinions 

i haven’t seen you or talked to you
in so long that i’ve almost forgotten 
what our friendship was like 
and whether it was good or bad 
or somewhere inbetween 
in the grey area that defined 
almost all of my elementary school friendships 
and i’ve forgotten how much you’ve hurt me 
and if you even did at all 
because my memory is quite good 
at concealing the things i don’t want to remember 
and hiding the details so i forget
but if you squint hard enough 
you’ll see the cracks and fractures you left me 

i’ve escaped your tornado now 
your whirlwind of anger and uncertainty 
your calm eye of the storm 
that never seemed to last long enough 
but knowing me 
i could be caught up in it 
just as fast as i fell the first time

Chloe Jiatong Lin is a Chinese-Canadian high school student from Lord Byng Secondary School. From scribbles on construction paper to thought-provoking poems on Google Docs, she has loved writing from the very beginning. When she isn’t writing poems, you can find her laughing with her parents and two siblings, immersed in a novel, or playing the viola. You can
find more of her work on her Instagram account @cordiallychloe.

This poem was first included in issue 111 of Pluvia

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