The man in the mirror

I’m dysfunctional or seemingly so,
but you’ll never-ever-never-ever know, since you
look at the starry night with its contours
of lunacy and little paper box homes, but don’t
see the thunderstorm or muted ashen eyes
that hold this face, sorrow splits me into two,
but those letters I’ve sealed in an envelope,
parceled to nonexistence, just like these
that strangely look like acidic blood,
but come from detached nonchalance,
I’ve known it all: requited-unconditional-
conditional-unrequited love, and the
familiar two-faced illness, (bi) polar,
but labels become stigmatic, authoritarian,
making people cougars (not the older variety)
eating you alive, saying, “You’re responsible!”
And sure, I’m responsible for breaking a few hearts,
but they’ve moved on, married and happy,
secretly wishing that one day I’ll pick the
maggots of dogma, doctrine, out of my skull,
hoping and praying that I’ll snip
the pendulum that swings,
I love my mother enough
and I’m there when she needs me, and my father
enough to forgive but not forget,
I’m sometimes straight edge,
often chain smoke,
and I’m both vulnerable and forceful,
but leeches don’t pray, they prey,
and parasites preach while they leech,
and so I pick them out, nursing wounds,
and slowly move on, expressing myself,
never knowing everything, because the
search for it all leads nowhere, but a
journey keeps you stationary in a
moving bus, and so, I’m nobody, because
everybody lives in a moribund town
with white walls, and somebody wants in,
and somebody else wants to start an
anarchy, but we all know anarchists
are Raskolnikovs rotting in Gulags,
and false anarchists beat the
system, being the ‘good’ son and
now ask others to become prodigals,
and so, I guess I’ll stay, biased
and honest, feigning naïvety and giving
it room, using and discarding reason,
fighting the evil men in power,
who the hit-the-gym, educated morons support
when the need arises,
and I could be her everything or nothing,
but it’ll never work out if she just
likes coffee or tea.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2017)

Protected by Copyscape

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