The Stranger in the Mirror

I’m a carbon being in a silicon world,
I’m annoyed and angry, an anxious type.
My face I keep still and calm,
For nobody must know
I fear rotting before I’m ripe.

My atoms and my attitudes are a series of accidents.
But then, who am I, I ask?
Am I the child who was told he is gifted,
Or the teen chasing the immediate breath of life?
Or the man who’d like to bask in sunlit perfection,
But kills time out of sheer strife?

Am I a hero without any grace,
Or a visionary who dreams the past?
Or am I the one for whom there’s no place-
An ordinary mind with an ordinary heart?

Why must I wake up every morning
To dodge the glare of my reflection?
Why must I perform like an artist in a box
For a society without attention –
The roles of lion, mouse, and fox?

Why must I triumph to avoid disaster,
And be forced to gather myself whole?
My scars hidden beneath my laughter
My prize – a fractured soul.

I wish I could accept being fake,
Look in the mirror and say:
“There… there’s the imposter,
Who has no remorse or glee,
There… there’s the damned stranger
I contain within me.”

Priyam Marik is a post-graduate student of journalism at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom.

Featured image credit: Paul Li/Unsplash