An identity is not a solid thing
Made of unchangeable cogs and metal parts.
Trade in the pieces that no longer serve you
And recycle the forgotten strains,
Old portions of yourself once tossed away in exasperation
When others insisted that they knew the best way for you to be.
Though the crowd may cry “what joy in excess!”
And collect toys, hard-earned, to fill homes and bring solace,
Have strength enough to break away.
As hushed voices trade phrases dripped in oil,
Jabber slick with toxins and edges sharp enough to break the skin,
Converse with words of thicker substance.
And when doubt creeps in, after another leaves the door open,
or because you dabbled in man-made monsters,
Kindly usher it out and begin again.
Image of the work of Pakistani artist Khalil Chishtee