Antonie the Recluse

There had never been a plan.

Antonie stuffs herself to block out the pain, her suffering.

In sheer solitude.

There is no circulation of air in her poor room.


She always used to keep windows opened.

Not Antonie.

It was cold in her memory.

Chasing out the trumpeting ghosts.


And the river, the one that was prohibited.

And yet in it she swam, through it, the lies.

Smelling like a water that does not purify.

Coming home means walking up a hill, her heart’s racing.


Antonie has no distance, no sense of belonging and yet anchored, not to float.

Her eyelids vibrate in grey stiffness.

Those eyes always sleep and let time fly by.

The ticking of the clock a wild beast that combats death.


Antonie eats too much.

Her appetite a false friend.

She looks out of the window and fears that she could never grow wings

Big enough to carry her, carry her away, not entirely.


A land with the same moon, not the flipside.

The house is immense, its grasp murderous.

Antonie hollers into the overarching trees and they rustle away her abandonment.

In those moments a part of her leaves the premises and sends back a promise.


people walking in a narrow alley
Photo by Avonne Stalling on

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