sometimes I wake up in the morning
and I have to move carefully around a pregnant figure standing in a corner
a veiled Shadow that stands and watches
out of the corner of my eye I see it still in the darkest corner of the darkest room
it never moves, it only stands as I rush around and about in life’s maelstrom, running,
on my darkest day the shadow of that Shadow looms terrifyingly tall, covering my bed in its giant grasp
on my slowest days it seems to emanate a force that keeps me from the door, moving backwards against time and laughter and all that I crave
on the days when my head weighs a thousand heads and my mind splits and rips apart it seems to unfurl inky limbs and fill in the room, billowing-black
On the days I’m tired of running, tired of living, tired of having to breathe, I see the Shadow, standing still in one corner of the room.
it will never really go.
there will never be a day when I will wake up and find it banished from thought
there will never be a time before the time I knew its presence
Even if the sunshine fritters it away to dust and the golden beams scrub the corner clean and light fills the room from corner to corner, end to end
someday I will obliquely glance out of the corner of my eye to find its haunting-space filled once more
i can’t tie it down or throw it away
exorcise it as if it is something out of me and my mind
destroy it in a puff of smoke
think it to be where my life began and my days will end
none of these malignant thoughts will make it melt to dust
the Shadow is me
always has been
It is the me that I carefully step around on the hard winter mornings and suffocated summer nights
It is the me that was once strangled buried starved broken bent concentrated and torn
It is the me that knows nothing except sadness and despair
It is the me that cries for release in an empty cave that echoes with my screams
It is the me trying to reach out, to reach
this Shadow-Me I hate needs my love
a sprinkling of cleansing rain
a touch of showering blossoms
a whisper of playful wind
a dollop of the blue blue sky
a dose of golden sunshine
to help it bloom again
and who will give it the clouds and the stars and the midnight moon if I don’t?
and as much as I wish I could purge that me, cut it off like a gangrenous arm poisoning healthy limbs
as much as I wish that Shadow never existed and could be burnt away by a thousand bonfires
as much as I wish it wasn’t me
who then will save that Shadow
that was once a happy young girl playing in her own world with her eyes filled with dreams?
Who will lift it to the sky
flowering and pretty and peaceful
and let it become one with the light?
Who will love this poor, broken, once-upon-a-me
Who will remember the days in which she wasn’t at war with herself
And the shadows were nothing to be afraid of?
This poem was written by the person currently having a nervous breakdown every day of their life (aka me.) The art was created by the lovely Sejuti.
Edit: an earlier version of the post mentioned that the art had been created by Subarna. While Subarna is just as incredible an artist, this particular beauty was all Sejuti’s. You can see Subarna’s art here.