I Too Walked Small

Suffocation - Brittany Bertazon
Suffocation by Brittany Bertazon

By Katie Frazier 

I too walked small
In fear of flames,
Beneath hostage lips imprisoned,
My whispers plastic echoes,
My ribs a shelter underground.

But Knowledge, that great lover,
Unsealed my mouth,
Ripping from me, in my weakness,
My protection–

And I laughed,
Astonished at last to find
The air sweet,
The mask poison.


Katie Frazier was born into a family of avid readers, and has been reading and writing poetry since she was a child. However, she was also raised in an extremely strict, fundamentalist religious environment. Her identity became wrapped up in being a “rebel” whose appreciation for secular art and music was frowned upon by members of her religious culture. During Katie’s teen years, she struggled to find ways of expressing herself within that environment, and her poetry became extremely dark. College, however, has changed all of that. At Flagler, Katie has found freedom to become who she wants to become. With nothing left to rebel against, her identity continues to change–an experience that can, as she says, sometimes be frightening, but which has ultimately been rewarding thus far. Much of her most recent poetry reflects the shifts in her thinking since coming to college and gaining more personal and intellectual freedom.