Conversations with My Inside Voice – A Poem

“I look good today.”

*No, you don’t*

“Yes I do.”

*No, you’re fat. Why can’t you see that?”

“I’m not fat, I lost so much weight and I love myself.”

*Yeah, but I know that you should be hating yourself.*

“I don’t have to listen to you.”

*Pretty hard not to when I’m inside of you. It’s not like you can ignore me.*

“I don’t care what you say. I’m fabulous.”

*You keep telling yourself that*

“It’s true, I am.”

*Why do you call yourself fabulous all the time?*

“Because I am.”

*I think it’s because you’re trying to ignore the obvious.*

“What would that be?”

*That you’re nothing. You’re a big fat piece of nothing.*

“That’s not true. I know it’s not true.”

*The fuck you do. Everyone just lies to you and tells you what you want to hear.*

“Shut the fuck up. What do you know?”

*Um, everything? I’m you remember. I’m the shadow to your light.*

“Why do you have to talk all the time? Can’t you let me think something positive for once?”

*No, I can’t. Where would the fun be in that?*

“I’m done, I don’t want to have this conversation anymore.”

*You think we’re done? How about this one? You’re a shitty writer.*

“I am not, my words hold power.”

*No, they don’t. Everyone knows you’re a fake and they’re just humouring you*

I shake my head to clear it. “That’s not true. I know that I can’t please everyone.”

*You please no one. Oh, and your so-called art? Don’t get me started on that.*

“What about it? People love my art.”

*Again, people just tell you what you want to hear. A three year old could do better with fingerpaints.*

I start to think random thoughts to distract myself,

so that my brain is full of something else

other than the sound of the inside voice.

“I wonder if penguins have knees.”

*The fuck?*

“I also wonder if giraffes get tired of sleeping standing up all the time.”

*You know your nothing, right?*

“And maybe snakes really have a soft side to them and they’re tired of being misunderstood.”

*You’re such a sack of shit. An excuse for a human being, really.*

“Have you ever wondered if all the paths in the world lead to the same place? Like if we start one path in our neighbourhood and travel all across the world if it will lead to home again?”

*You’re a fat excuse. Nobody loves you. You’re not worthy of love.*

“I often look at clouds and think they come from people’s wishes. That’s why they always look like something else, it’s their wish taking shape.”

*You’re not even a real writer. Can you support yourself with your writing? Nope, you’re pathetic.*

This stings but I push forward.

It isn’t the first time we’ve had this conversation.

“I wonder if the stars are actually people that we’ve lost in our lives over the thousands of years that the planet has existed? I wonder if they miss the lives they used to live?”

*See, this is why people can’t stand you. You are always thinking dumb shit like this.*

“I often wonder if all the light I have put out there into the world makes it a brighter place. Like, maybe if people see it from space can actually see my light glow.”

*The fucking fuck. Are you on drugs? You know you’re nothing, right.*

“Not true.”

*Yes, it is, and you know it. Otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversation.*

“You’re the one who started this conversation in the first place.”

*So? What does that prove?*

I think for a moment of what I want to say,

wondering how I can possibly end this.

Then I realize that only I can.

It is my shadow side after all.

“I think it proves that you’re nothing. You have no power over me.”

There is no witty retort to this,

just the absence of a presence that was there.

I imagine that I can see the smoke he left behind

coming out through my ears.

I know that he will be back

and we will have the same conversation

with the same thoughts.

“Next time, I’ll be ready.”

In the distance of my mind,

so quiet it is like an echo,

a voice rings out.

*The fuck you will.*

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