The Ghost Within

My mirror lies to me
I am a ghost beneath my skin
MY skin

The word seems so strange

It warrants an emphasis

There is such great disconnect

between this ghost, spirit, being
and this shell of flesh.

The shell is the reflection
I do not see myself

I cannot see myself
I am somewhere hidden

beneath eyes that are borrowed

I have not claimed this skin

I have ownership of,
It is too much to claim

all of it

 

I cannot claim she, her, he, him, sir, mam, miss,

Each mole, hair, and scar
I cannot claim the vastness,

that is the brain

allowing my body to breathe and see and live
 

Maybe it is because I have not claimed it,

my vessel rebels against me.

Somehow rendering numbness in tenderness
I cannot feel the caress and kiss of a lover

In this action

My ghost has gone
It flees somewhere beyond and the vessel is left

un-feeling and un-reciprocating
 

I am somewhere beneath the reflection

Somewhere no mirror in the world

could find
But when the eyes of this body close

I can still see
 

I look at others and can recognize

what is beneath

not the shell.

Not the flesh.

Somewhere within muted by our shells

Muted by my self

will we only be truly able to understand each other

once our ghosts have been freed.


When I look to him,

there is some recognition

between our dwelling spirits

but still I cannot accept

the word beautiful from his lips

 

I am torn and confused,
because I cannot be sure

if the beauty is of my ghost or

this body, which is not truly mine,

but that I occupy in this life.

© 2020 Kathleen McDonald

West Indies | California SF Bay Area