Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris


at 24, i have lived
so many lives.
i feel like
most people start one way and still have a sense of who they
are or at least have maintained
a certain essence over time
but in my 24 years
I feel like
i have been 24 different people.

my stages and phases have controlled my identity,
making me more defined by my actions, so people don’t see
who i am as a human being.
who am i really?
a combination of all of my personalities
that no one seems to fully understand or embrace.
all these people live in me waiting to come out,
but i suppress them, making myself generic
when really i am so much bigger,
so much fuller,
so much more alive.

the pressure inside
is stretching me in ways i don’t like
so now i’m thinking i just might
let all these I’s out to roam free.
and i’ve
reached a point where i
don’t care if
people don’t like
me…it’s time to be
hang up the wrinkled shell of a person
i wanted others to think i was
and wear the real me–
stained, un-drycleaned


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