Perfection is
a treasure hunt,
an endless search
for a brighter horizon
and a bigger
treasure chest.

Perfection is a
a journey,
towards a mirage
that dissipates
as you draw near it.

Perfection is
a marathon
of endurance.
Surely,
everything
can be
improved
if you’re willing
to endure what
it takes to improve.

As a woman
as a Korean
as an American
as a Christian
I have been told
that I am to
endure.

I am to be
above reproach,
never tiring,
excellent,
and
demure
and
gentle
and
modest
and
humble
and

lovely and never vain
successful and never bragging
independent and never leading
self-sufficient and never selfish

straight
and
pure
and
thin
and
Perfect.

I tell myself that
all this pressure
is meant to turn
me,
a lump of coal,
into a diamond.

And then I learn
that you don’t
get diamonds
from coal.

Besides,
what good is a diamond?
It has no value,
no purpose
on its own.
(Honestly, they’re not all that rare anyway.
They’re only worth what the industry claims they are).

But coal,
coal has a purpose.
Its goal is
to burn
it
all
down.
To bring light
and heat
and go out
in a cascade
of sparks.

So who needs diamonds
when you can be the flame?

Perfection is not a treasure hunt
or a journey
or a marathon.

It is a performance,
and I am tired of playing pretend.

I will not give up my fire
to be pressured into
a shiny thing
that only holds as much value
as the men around
decide to give to it.

I am more.

I am a universe of fire
contained
in the dark.

I am good.
I am very good.
I am good enough.


Photo by Blaque X on Unsplash

About the Poet:

Stella is a second-gen KA who lives in Southern California. She has a passing interest in most things, and a passionate interest in justice, literature, representation in media, education, food, pop culture, crafting, and all things cute. She is addicted to personality tests, but never agrees with the results.

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