Storm At Sea

 [Image description: photograph of the rigging of a large sailing ship against the backdrop of a cloudy sky.]  Marc Blackburn-Wilson / Creative Commons

[Image description: photograph of the rigging of a large sailing ship against the backdrop of a cloudy sky.]

Marc Blackburn-Wilson / Creative Commons

When you are a girl
you will hear tales
of swashbuckling adventures—
but all of the heroes
and all of the villains
will be boys.

Nobody will tell you the secret
behind those stories:
they were written by men
who want to believe
that women are nothing more
than ships that cannot sail.

These men will weigh you down
with anchors at port,
hoping you never hear the truth
when the wind whispers:
not all ships need sails.

So they will take reality,
seal it in a bottle,
and throw it into the sea.
They will try to sink you, but
that mistake will ruin them—
they do not know
that the ocean surges
in your blood.

You are lightning.
You are thunder.
There is a storm within you—
unleash it and
watch the world
drown in your rain.


Sarena Tien is a queer Chinese-American feminist and Francophile. She is currently a PhD student in French Literature at Cornell University. Her writing has appeared in online publications such as Transitions Abroad, The Feminist Wire, Bustle, On She Goes, and Project As[I]Am.

PoetrySarena Tien