‘On nothing have I built my hopes.’


You cannot believe that I have a tainted,

More tragic side to myself.

So naive.

You see me for my sunshine facade,

An image of desired beauty and perfection.

Unknown to you it is lined with sugar coated white lies.

You see me sitting on the frail bamboo chair

In the middle of the garden that stands partially covered

In veils of autumn shadows, scribbling on an old fashion magazine,

Sipping on my lemonade from a green tumbler.

I look like some 70s afternoon aesthetic.

You look away for a while.

Don’t see me calmly scratching away the painted

Faces of the women in front of me.

They reek of desperate perfection.

They repulse me.

The dahlias you gifted me last week so lovingly,

I never watered them.

They are rotting away in a dry vase in the bathroom.

I never liked them.

You see me. I smile back.

You laugh when I narrate to you, in doubt,

The songs my foolish demons sing in my

ears when the evening falls on some random Thursday.

You say there aren’t any.

It’s all just poetic hoodlum and that everything

is all and only practical and that maybe I am just ill.

You straighten my collar,

put that lone flick of hair behind my ear,

Hand me some superfluous reassurance and tell

I’m better than this.

Yes I am ill. You’re right.

There’s something. Someone.

Plaguing me from within.

A reflection of all my constrictions, a reminder of my lack,

A breathing possibility of all that I resist in fear.

You see me for what you would like to see.

I see me for what I am.

An empty whole.

But don’t fret for I understand the cause of your disbelief.

All these years have taught me some sneaky little trade secrets.

So I smile an empty smile for you and leave.

I see it all so clearly. Maybe that is my tragedy.

Clarity among all these forced illusions of

What’s good that everyone else lives by.

You never see my demon for your own stands behind you

with his ink black hands over your eyes.


Manpriya Sodhi – Jesus and Mary College,DU


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