I live like the haunted

I can't see myself in their eyes anymore.

Brilliant black, now cloudy from the last storm.

A diamond with a molten core,

I was boiling with the rage of misunderstanding every page written in my book since I was born. I arrived on the shore,

Searching for wonder with eyes still sore from the night before,

Carrying the pages they had torn

and dipped in their pot of lava each morn.

Every bubble in that pot,

a new thought


I asked with no reply.

The question of "Who am I ?"

Still hounding every chance of reinvention.

The reinvention of a creation not of my invention.

I attempted to defy every definition,

every label.

But discovered I was unable

For I did not exist.

As each second slipped by,

I realised that I was just a checklist.

Earning a tick for every expectation fulfilled.

But I wanted to be a loved one's letter,

a child's first poem,

a beautiful lullaby sung under the night sky to the one still unborn.

How was I to compose anew?

My orchestra had only played the symphonies they'd approved.

I wrote in my room,

covering the corners in curved letters

scrawled on shreds of paper left by the few

who had tried to discover who they were before I had ever set foot

in this palace on their dune.

They dined in wealth upstairs while I was starved in their dungeons.

Fashioning a key from the torn bits of white I'd inscribed on before dawn.

They mustn't see me scribble,

for they will thwart the flights of fanciful freedom I must enjoy

if I am to destroy

the societal song

that caged my heart for so long.

Ghosts float in the mist of memories of moments that could've led me to a brighter destiny

If only I had chosen differently.

Haunted by the past,

Still afraid of being in their grasp.

Reared to be a slave to their fancies.

But my mind is awake.

I have the right to make my mistakes.

I am not beholden,

I do not owe them my soul.

Author: Debolina Bhaattacharya

Editor: Charu Sabharwal

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