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  • Writer's pictureMarías at Sampaguitas

Poetry by Juliette Sebock

Identity Crisis

“I’m a lot braver than people think. Including me.”

—Dani Clayton, The Haunting of Bly Manor

Like a decade-old song cover on Glee,

I tell myself to embrace this courageous part of me—

to be bold, to be brave, and strong, and true,

all these words we say, we give, we claim

but rarely sit down and interrogate.

But brave isn’t a word I’d assign myself,

more deer-in-the-headlights, Rapunzel-eyes,

diving into confetti night skies to avoid

any mention-indication-memory of confrontation.

Yet I wonder if it’s a trait I could take,

tug a thread from aurora, from airglow,

to embrace a deeper part of me—

this part I keep burying, sending off to space

like a flame that spectators aren’t meant to see.

So I suppose the question I’m asking myself,

asking you, asking whatever deity empathises,

is how I’m supposed to recognise

the qualities I’m too good at disguising?

Juliette Sebock (she/her) is a Best of the Net-nominated poet and writer and the author of Mistakes Were Made, Micro, How My Cat Saved My Life and Other Poems, Three Words, Plight of the Pangolin, and Boleyn, with work forthcoming or appearing in a wide variety of publications. She is the founding editor of Nightingale & Sparrow, runs a lifestyle blog, For the Sake of Good Taste, and is a regular contributor to Marías at Sampaguitas, Memoir Mixtapes, and The Poetry Question. When she isn't writing (and sometimes when she is), she can be found with a cup of coffee and her cat, Fitz. Juliette can be reached on her website,, or across social media @juliettesebock.

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