Overhead Projector Focus Adjustment by M.Y. Perle

Art by Valerie Chamberlain

Overhead Projector Focus Adjustment

I stopped writing about myself

Because they told me I didn't exist

They said they knew/know who I am/was

So I believed them instead of myself

Because it's what I'd always done.

We're in Andover-Morris

They're standing by the Apollo-Horizon

Forging transparencies from my life

"How'd they get these?"

Images of what I hadn't done

I wasn't in them.

I go along with it

This is a dissociative dream

Seeing the unfamiliar pictures

Unable to speak

One of those dreams where I can't talk

Sleep State Misperception?

Intrinsic Dyssomnia?

I stare at them, knowing their projections

Come from themselves

Not me

I wake up

And realize I've been grinding my teeth.

M.Y. Perle is co-founder and web designer of RQP. A PhD candidate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, her dissertation focuses on comparative literature of identity formation in diasporic groups. She is the current editor of TERSE. Journal and lives in Pittsburgh.

#poetry #MYPerle #Identity #Art #ValerieChamberlain