armaan mohan - the search_01 - issue 13

Armaan Mohan

4th year, Film Studies

The Search

poetry and images



The Search explores my search of hope amidst my struggles with depersonalization and derealization that accompanies my OCD. This was something that got really bad in 2022, but is slowly improving as the new year comes and the possibility of healing seems more plausible. Writing this poem was strange because everything came from inside me, but I couldn’t even understand it as it was happening at the time. It ends on a hopeful note because I know things will get better.

The Search

My biggest qualm with my upbringing

is that Human is the most advanced being,

and to regress is a result

of our accrual of karma.

For I would rather be like a seed,

who knows not if it will sprout

or if its efforts to start afresh

will be crushed by the impact of a bocce ball.

For it has accepted uncertainty wholly

and understood the limits of life in all its glory.

The fish seems happier,

its crooked smile never disappears,

whether in the epipelagic or abyssopelagic zones,

nor the poissonerie or in human shit.

My obsession with knowing

has birthed twenty extra fingers

that wrap around the neck of the Self.

And what if I told you the Self can break?

Yes, into a thousand shards of glass,

but no, you cannot step on them –

especially without socks on.

And can I ask you a question?

Why didn’t Medusa just look at herself in the mirror,

turn to stone

and escape the cycle of pain?

Maybe that wouldn’t work

(I’m not too well versed in Greek mythos)

but I would’ve done anything I could to help her

in all my broken stupor.

And I love you,

even though you don’t believe it,

even though you don’t care.

(although I secretly think you do)

I love the way tea travels down your throat,

the way cotton leaks out of your orifices,

how you dice shallots,

and your desire to take it up the ass just to feel real.

I promise you

the way your hair curls is special.

The patterns remind me of a hermit crab shell,

the one you broke when you were younger, remember?

But don’t feel guilty,

it was bound to happen.


Even though I keep reciting transmutative incantations

into the reflection on my fingernails,

I’ll never become a seed, no.

Nor a fish, no.

So I must deal somehow.

I have some ideas:

Roleplay as a rotting corpse before bed,

Dig soil until callouses form on my fingers,

Kiss, and kiss, and kiss, and kiss,

Let the sun melt the plastic off my face,

The 5-4-3-2-1 technique.

And for the first time in a while,

I remember that God exists.

I ask him to help me be present,

he says he can’t do that.

But just for me,

he raises the global temperature so high

that the shards of glass melt into a larger float.