I am afraid.
Of my power, of my gift, of my own existence.
I am afraid.
Whenever I look over my shoulder, a figure beckons for me.
It’s so powerful. So bright.
We’re so different.
Them and I.
And yet, when I look at their face.
It is as familiar as my own.
the same dull brown eyes
the same soft sad smile
the same everything
What makes us so different?
Our hands caress our chest, and therein lies our difference.
Our hands in similar motions, feeling for the rhythm that I have forgotten.
I hear it, and I see it, but it is not my own.
Their heart is whole.
Vitality throughout their body, living and breathing along the skeletal structure of both spirit and mind.
Oh. I exist. But I’m not alive. I don’t feel.
Am I only an empty space?
When I was younger, I avoided mirrors.
I avoided looking at my own reflection.I never wanted to see myself.
Because when I did. I felt.
Parts of my body hang. Lifeless and still, some stayed missing. Others just weren’t there.
Haunting eyes gazing into the depths of my soul.
There are parts of me that I have kept hidden. Hidden from prying eyes. Hidden from even myself, I like to think that my subconscious knows, but, even I am unsure.
I’ve spent my whole life building walls. From within and from without.
I blocked and pushed people away, through smiles and questions.
You see, this figure that beckons to me this figure that calls to me.
They’re perfection.They’re whole.
They’re not me.
Everyone loves them. Everyone sees them. Everyone hears them.
And here I stand.
Barely put together,
taped and glued.
Who am I? I’m not the hero.
I want to scream. I want to hurt.
Creator knows I want to hurt.
I want to punch. I want to hit. I want to do something other than crying.
But I can’t. I’m exhausted. Crying doesn’t make the pain go away. Crying masks the anger.
The sadness.The fear.
All of it. All of it is just a mask.
Who am I?
The void asks again.
This question crawls over my skin. Pinching and leaving its mark.
Pulling and scaring me in all directions. Begging and demanding an answer.
Who am I!?
No matter how much I feel. No matter how much I scream. No matter much of anything
I remain hollow and afraid.
At my side, a wooden bat awaits. A decision to be made.
Dancing before my very eyes. Dangling and waiting
Growing up, I was afraid of the monsters under my bed.
Never truly knowing why I was so afraid of them. I was told that they were ugly. They were horrible. They were undesirable
I was told that the monsters don’t win. The heroes do.
Everyone loves the heroes.
But there are always monsters, and no one saves them
Growing up, I was taught to be afraid. To hate myself. Taught to be silent and complicit, in the pain and the joy of those around me.
I was taught to build walls.
Growing up, I realized that I’m not the hero, that people wished me to be. That the ancestors call for me.
The figure in the mirror is the healer. They’re the savior.
They’re the ones who revel in your pain, your anger, your sadness, and your love.
All of which I crave to feel, but I won’t. I can’t. I refuse.
I don’t want to be the savior.
Who am I?
The question demands an answer. I want my reflection to lose. To fail, to break, and it does. Slowly. One by one.
Piece by piece.
The potential to be what people crave. It is no longer there.
The reflection stares back at me. They smile and hold out their hand.
I turn away, and my fingers release the wooden bat.
I am the monster, who was once a hero.
Now, I am afraid of what I have and will become.