the mimic

I was unsure – of who I was, of how to live outside my home
and lacking adequate affect, while full of social awkwardness –
so I conformed.  The choice was stark but simpler than it seems
in that long ago. 

Thus marked, by birth or accident,
I took instruction, even study (to a point),
as my seeming deficit became a fabric of belief
and I self-censored, thickening my carapace
to grow in roles which made denial second nature;
learning how to walk without the hope of wings,
needing to avoid defeat, absent persuasion
in that yesterday. 

But of course I wanted to be right, so I admit:
there was collaboration.
I enjoyed the gravity of power that pulled me in its orbit,
compelling me to move eccentrically
until that shook my axles loose, spilling their bearings
as they ground my gears to fragments;   falling
beneath those asking, how it was possible to live
without a purpose – or an allegiance to one colour? 

Those true believers:  defenders of the faith, keepers of the flame,
held hostage to the dogma of their self-defeating doctrines
while tied by their taboos at a bridge too far for reason.
I scorned them even in my weakness – 

How much trouble that has caused me! 

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