The Identity


My montage is incomplete
Without a stroke or two
Of you
You slide in and out of frames
You sometimes whisper in my ear
You perch comfortably on the top of my head
And repeat clandestinely, words I don’t know
Anymore

I smile in a sad, tired way
Fixing the straps of my shirt, fidgeting
For the room to know how deeply misplaced
I am- a fish thrown thrashing on a rocky beach
And they see I’m sitting under a private cloud
With a straight face as the rain splashes onto me

I had to sing until my voice was hoarse
That melody still whirls like autumn leaves around me
Merging into the sounds of my voice
And I don’t hear the words I spill into the universe
Just wonder how they shield me from people
And how I shield myself from you

I hope you don’t see the sad spaces I do
But I really want you to
These stories line whatever it is I am
My identity bloated by extremes
And fizzling under the need to explain
For you, I am different
For me, I am stained

I am a conflagration of conflicts
I am confused about the hole you are nestled in
Deep down inside my rib cage
Criss-crossing angry lines across my chest
Hold you prisoner there against my will
And the only way to release you
Is for me to give way to the flames

Like an archangel you watch the streets
I spit down on that very ground
And the men across the road are amused
I hug your invisible presence too
While it breaks away like burnt paper before me

I’m a writer weeping silently in the quiet night
Strange dreams keep me awake- mixed monsters are my muse
You see the halo around me- I think it died
And you are the carbon from the beautiful flowers we shared
My blackened hands dig deeper for the roots
I want to pull them out and leave them on concrete
And walk away

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