United States


August 23, 2020


I watch the minutes trickle by 
as if they were diamonds pricking the floor

Faster, smarter, harder, better
every second not spent working, wasted
They call the churning mess productivity, but my mind cries out,
quietly suffering so I could be one step closer to the Holy Grail of achievement 

I am not special
I am ordinary, no -extra attached
I was just lucky enough to afford a dozen extracurriculars and the finest tutors
My parents expect no less
They came here with $20 in their pocket
And built their way up from nothing
Happiness to them means success
and they only know one way to achieve it

Every time someone compliments me,
I feel the empty hollow in my chest
where a heart should be beating.
Could they see through my facade?
That I have no talent
or quirk
I just work until I feel like collapsing,
every movement forced, every moment spent in criticism,
pushing me deeper into a pit of guilt
I will never escape 

I am not new to hate
I feel it when I look at the starved body in the mirror after months of restriction,
when my eyes catch the dreaded red marks on the paper,
or the competitions I will never be good enough to win
I created the Demon when my perfectionism demanded more control
It constantly tears at my soul,
its appetite never satisfied, hungering for the extremes

I want to be perfect
a shining gem
the pride of my family,
but each time I try, something shatters inside me
And I realize:
even diamonds crack under pressure.

Hi! Please comment if you wish. Side note: the details about my family are not autobiographical but the rest is. I am in no way claiming this is nonfiction or a memoir.

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1 Comment
  • BlueWolf (Semi Hiatus)

    I understand striving for perfection but can never quite achieving it. I think this poem truly captures this experience of both the pressure of perfection and how you feel like an imposter. I think it is truly beautiful and I love the lines: Every time someone compliments me,/I feel the empty hollow in my chest/where a heart should be beating. It gave me goosebumps. Love the whole poem!!!

    6 months ago