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  • Ashmitha Gunaratne

She is Loud


They tell me to reach out

I know, but I can’t move

My head is full doubt

The voice I hear approves


Of the girl smarter than me,

Of the boy living his dreams.

The voice of the pitiful creature I see

In the mirror, she looks back at me.


Why is she not happy with the world and all its wonder?

Why is my company not enough?

Why is she pulling me

Under the surface, into the rough?


She tells me when I’m lonely.

‘Insignificant’, she likes to say.

Loud sometimes. Sometimes slowly.

It doesn’t matter, I’ll believe her anyway.


She stays up with me in the night,

Reminds me of where I went wrong.

She will never tell me I was right.

She says she knew all along,


She knew I was meant to fail

To be nothing, to be ordinary

To mean nothing, to never prevail

To be scared, to be cautionary.


She and I have spent time together

I have realised things I didn’t know before.

My weaknesses make her better

Her strength comes from my lowest lows.


She is frail on my good days

She visits more often than before,

She is outspoken in the worst ways.

I hope for days she won’t bother me anymore.




Originally published in the Kopi Collective curated section of the Young Feminist Network Newsletter December issue.