Is It Really Me?

By Ekasmayi Naresh
Picture source:

A poem on the hauntings of real vs. reel, and identity.

Drenched in the pinken hue of the sky post its peak
recalling a similar sepia tint
my hands scramble, my phone screen I seek
to source the filter –
something to capture the former,
enhance it and paint a prettier picture.

Back inside, I retreat into my realm.
in sleep, I see scenes
in which the self I hardly recognize,
emboldened to rise from embers
or burning in shame and cowardice.
In wakefulness, I wonder, “was that even me?”
I dismiss the thought as a ‘she’ unto herself,
as a final bid to overcome this disjunction
these mindlessly meandering thoughts, I trivialize.

With successive seasons, I seem to shed
parts of me that seemed, with my soul, inbred
almost reptilian,
I redeem the loss with renewed replacements
rivets to keep the splintered soul
as a pleasant patchwork quilt
rather than the contents
of an unsavoury salad bowl.

With some, I fall into step with ease
with others, more out of tune
than an unstrung cello
are my smiles and spoken word only to please
or do they the colour of reality reflect?
Many roles I have espoused in my personhood,
and naturally, on the question of their veracity
confused my mind’s milieu stood.

Constant code switches
to best match the moment,
second-guessing what’s true to form
selectively sparring with
or succumbing to the norm.
The multitudes of me,
two, three, four
sometimes even more
populate my world which seems caught
in the revolving door between
the real and the reel;
but either path lead me
to the cloakroom of existence
where I might find
an appendage with which to adjust
my piebald presence.

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