I am stark awareness,
harking at this raw feeling that stays along.
I am hardened wearing
darkened sharp ends of a dried blood sweat tear song.
I am marked by fights and fails and choice
to but thrive in the cold nights long.
I am far-end heights that God sent here
to frighten fear and make weak strong.
I am roots that won't uproot.
In storms’ pursuit, they tried, I knew.
When fiercer winds blew, the deeper I grew.
The steeper my trunk’s upkeep to renew.
Gusts at my keep’s feet endured and ensued.
Eternal sleep crept, to which I refused.
My castle's tree knees forged from bamboo
into diamond beams that could not be torn through.
I am the he who would die on his feet,
rather than live on his knees, beg and plead for mercy.
I am the we––an accumulation of me’s,
who in physical form will not concede.
I am for whom cloudbursts will brew,
as they'll vie and try to incite untruth.
But I’m marked by part nerves,
part heart, and part youth.
Only the depth of my will
is what I belong to.

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