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Among company I stand,

Peering at peers,

at each of their souls.

Doubts seep in

accompanied by futile questioning:

“What do they think?

What do they see?

How do they feel?”

“They” — slowly — becomes “me.”

Me? Who?

Does she still exist?

Reflection upon reflection,

The different rays of me get refracted.

The colours bleed into a blur.

“Me” is a shapeshifter.

The very essence of her being

Is crafted in a burning furnace,

The flames of society melting

The metal of my bones.

I am

the words I heard last,

The bodies I saw last,

A mere shell, a cast.

This duplicity,

In mind and body

Tugs the strings of her heart.

No matter,

Shame and guilt are no match for fear.

That creeping shadow

that swallows me whole,

It whispers-

You will never truly be. Do you hear?

Hearing such sprightly cheer,

she crouches and quivers.

A beast rises from my depths—

Smiling countenance, sweatless palms,

Oozing with confidence—

Me? Scared? Oh no, not at all!

Nothing more than a stranger,

I encounter “me” again and again–

I say “Nice to meet you”

But alas, before I make her acquaintance,

The soulless chameleon morphs

once more.

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