Internalised: A Poem

You put ghosts in my head.

You let me speak to the dead.

Sing to them, whisper and wail.

The stomping footsteps, hammered,

Into my brain, the echoes of your

Vanished voice, I hear it still, the

Strained vocal cords, disrupted love.


We never figured out how to use

Our voices for one another. I wish

You could have had my back.

She gave birth to me with a broken heart

And you incarcerated me in house on fire.


I get up and hear a voice that tries to kill me.

With words that burn. With words that don’t

Seem as bad, but worsen as I listen or try to

Repress them. Who put it there, this voice, into me,

It doesn’t sound like me, is it my voice, or yours, have they

Melted together, can I liberate myself?


Why is it out to get me? It lives in me.

It makes no sense. It depends on me.

Where would it go if it managed to get

Rid of me? Would it jump into the next body?

Or does it need to work me until it’s done?

I’ve been an open vessel as a child, father.

I took what you gave me. I absorbed everything.

With an open heart, an open mind, a blank page,

And you scribbled and tore, illegibly, carelessly.

You were the stampede.


I’m not what you said I was.

I’m not what you said I would become.

This voice you shoved down my throat

Finds no resonance within me and

Will end itself, malnourished and famished.

woman wearing silver stud earring
Photo by Neemias Seara on

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