by Rachel Astarte Piccione

I keep my body
smaller than
my soul
just so there will be
no question.

But there always is.
One, dumb test.
One painfully, exhausting
to see what I'll do,

Someone inevitably thinks he can
pick me up,
spin me around,
toss me away.

If he looked closely
he'd see how heavy
I am.
How all of his
muscles working together
could not budge me.

Like the woman trapped
under the car
who lifted it —
the whole thing —
off herself because she had to
in order to survive,
my strength is
you wouldn't know
it was there.

Unless you tried
to lift me.