The Many Selves of Me – A Poem

I no longer know my own body.

It houses people

I’ve only seen in passing

and yet,

they have control over its movements,

its mechanics.

One person controls my voice,

deciding on the volume

or the words I am able to speak.


he picks the distance

that I can walk in a day,

sometimes he confines me to a chair,

unable to move because

I have only enough energy to breathe.

Someone else,

they choose the amount of pain

I carry, wearing it like a hairshirt

or a mantle made of glass.

Still another,

he takes my balance,

filling me with water,

making me walk on a tightrope.

It sloshes around,

spilling onto the floors as I walk,

eventually falling when

I’m unable to keep my balance.

And still more,

they fill my mind and body with sand,

clouding my vision

and my mind,

so that I am unable to see  

or find my way

through the clouds to the sun.

It always feels like it’s always raining.

I’ve lost count of the people within me,

they have overstayed their welcome.

I watch them,


hoping for a moment where I can breathe,

where I have total control

over the body that used to be


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