I never quite belonged to me.
Through the thinness of myself
I could feel the shadows of others,
waiting to grow into full form.
I was other people in incipient stages.
my sister’s spite.
my mother’s martyr.
my father’s anger, gaining on them
Long before I looked into the mirror
and saw my mother’s almond eyes
I felt him stirring in my hot blood.
A grabbing of any throat that fit in my little grasp.
The echo of you in my small tyrannies.
Do I long to become my mother, as every decent girl should?
I felt you both inside me, long ago.
I always knew I’d need to choose.
An ovum waiting;
like you gave birth to me,
I would have to recreate you.
By Yusra Amjad