Being Iago


I close my eyes and breathe

as I try to remember

my likes, my loves,

my dislikes, my hates,

my hobbies, my work,

my friends, my enemies.

I have to remember

my character, my lines,

what they know and what they don’t.

What stories I’ve told,

and the ones I’ve held back.

To them, I am honest,

like Iago to Othello.

And it is true,

I am Iago,

and they only see

what I choose to show them.

And what they don’t know,

or don’t care to see,

is that my character,

the honest Iago,

has long since died.


The honest Iago,

who I used to be,

was a slave, a servant,

a confidant, a fool;

my feelings and emotions

never mattered to them.

All they cared about was

the comedic mask I wore

because it showed that I

was following their rules.

But I am no longer honest.

I have grown, I have changed.

I created my own set of rules

for myself, and only myself.

They still expect me to play

their game with them.

But as I said,

I am no longer honest.

Discreetly, I have been

changing their rules

to more match my own.


However, unlike Iago,

I am not vindictive.

I only try to change a few of

their rules, like their wording,

from “baby” to “youngest”

all so that I can better fit

into their lives

without needing to be

a character, pretending

to be who I was.

I do it so that I do

not have to hurt them

and cut myself out



I open my eyes and

I see them.

Working the same jobs they hate

with the same friends.

Exactly where they were,

where they have been for years.

Since they are the same,

they expect me to be as well,

which is why I need to be

discreet and take small steps.

Anything obvious or large will

scare and upset them.

But I am hopeful that,

very delicately,

my small steps will

be successful.

I am hopeful that they

will see me for who I am,

not who I was.


But, until then,

I shall be Iago.

Honest, but lying.

And I shall wait,

in the shadows,

holding onto the handkerchief,

until the time to play

it arises.

However, the idea must be

in their heads before

I tell them I’ve grown up,

and it’s time for me to

move on so I can

pursue what I love.

And hopefully,

if I prepare them enough,

they will be ready

for me to be ready

and they will let me go

and I can finally smile.


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