I am an other

I am an other.
It is not external.
I am not wearing them.
They are inside.
I do not understand this co-existence.
I do not know which voice is mine.

An awkward confession from yesterday still shuffles
“You are different. I don’t understand things you say.”
So I know there is something there that is not me,
or that I was not.

I am sure this is my room I remember
how to get here even how it looks but less
ten bin liners full of memories. I spent six hours at it
my past trashed the dustman won’t distinguish.
An empty glass jar, corked, on the mantelpiece
all that remains of adornment useless decoration.

The furniture rearranged my bed moved
I can live in one room but cannot live

one person inside one head.

Stands high, empty, the air moves beneath
a peculiar presence there waiting
to hold my sleeping weight.

Scared to sleep: who will I be
when I wake cannot pinpoint it now
loathe to leave the conscious world
lest I should lose myself and have to start over again.
Another other might creep in none of us recognise
I will wonder which is me and never find it
I have no evidence.

Those slender legs straining in vain
their purpose remaining unfulfilled
but wait. I woke this morning there. I must have slept.

Do I have to replace the furniture?
No memories but too many reminders
the grain of the wood recorded my existence.
I do not read it, it shouts.

My mouth dries.
The other, that invades, that I am becoming,
it is not whole. It carries detachment,
it belongs, but not here.
Seeking fulfilment, it guides me wherever it needs to go
seeking a personal equilibrium that is not mine
that cannot be me for I am not it, not yet.

I am bound to witness its searching until it finds rest,
my vacated self a temporary shelter
why can’t I evict it, where do I find control?
A mere vessel now charged with this;
I bear responsibility for its actions.
Strange to an outsider as they see only the outside.
Well-defended so far but I cannot trust it for a moment
there must be constant guard.

Now I say things that I would never have thought before.
I am being portrayed as destructive.
I wish I were afraid.
How can I know what it seeks?
I don’t understand where it came from
so how should I tell where it is going?
I wish they would take it back it laughs me
my crying every day means I am still there
or here somewhere inside

When it evicts me will my own body be left behind?

Cannot place its origins whisper
pressing nothing coherent
hazy images find catharsis
its presence persistent torture
words suggest, to what do they refer
cannot succumb must purge how much longer
cannot last on dreamed salvation
frantic running through strange landscapes
it follows close behind I don’t recognise this land
long to get back, see a white cloud against a blue sky
so simple no explanation.
Remind me who I am
who I should be.