Who We Say We Are by Marina Muhlfriedel

Marina Muhlfriedel invites us to shed the past, if just for a moment.

Who We Say We Are

Let us pretend
we aren’t who we say we are

let us pretend
that in tandem
and alone
we can fabricate
a different tale
of our improbability

a new interpretation
of why we live
of why we behave
the way we do

in structures
divided by walls
delineating distance
across scratchy patches
of unloved garden

where rusty cabinets
filled with polite conversation
recount iterations of our story
swollen with subtext

cardboard boxes brim
with blurred histories
and dormant body parts
anemic punchlines of apathies
and excuses

and our ancestors’ jars
sleepy and dusty
allude to transformation
allude to resuscitation
reminding us of music
once considered
but never performed

But today,
let us pretend
we aren’t who we say we are

blow life into these shards
of history and fantasy
of grief and grievance

unearth these vessels
of vulnerability and curiosity

watch as lines
long crumpled and crossed
ease into parallels
and flutter
with the synchrony
of moth wings

shaking off
shackles of gravity
as they hover
in earth’s silvery aura

exhaling galaxies
that fill a brand new sky

in that instant
we might finally grasp
why it is so easy to believe
each fleeting account of our story

when a thousand variations
could as easily be true

Today, let us pretend,
there is no absolute
no unshakeable truth
to our story
to any story
no definition
we must abide

Let us pretend that love can be a real thing

And, let us pretend
we aren’t who we say we are


L.A. native and creative omnivore Marina Muhlfriedel’s professional life was launched by simultaneously serving as the entertainment editor for ‘TEEN Magazine, and as a keyboard player in the early female punk band, Backstage Pass. Her next band, Vivabeat, was signed by Peter Gabriel, and she toured and recorded with the group for several years. After music, she spent the majority of her career working as a producer in Hollywood and as a screenwriter and journalist. Currently a content marketing strategist for Harman International and Chief Operating Bitch for Bitchfix Chocolate, Muhlfriedel also is an accomplished poet, whose haiku were selected to grace the streets of Washington, D.C. She recently completed her first novel.