Trust your gods.
Trust your fathers.
In her hands, you, Amphillis Zeferra, in your mother’s hands.
Protecting you from the river stream.
Holding you safely above the waves.
It is him who shakes the sea you’re in.
Who sends the waves back and forth to test your matter and material.
You feel his animosity at your feet, how he draws away the ground you’re standing on.
Erasing what you drew.
Talking over you.
Your voice does not sound right. Go deeper, lower.
Your bosom takes over the world, present it with pride, he hollers.
Daughter of mine, stand straight, don’t eat so much.
You’re not alone and desolate.
We are burdened with the same emptiness.
Seeing each other in the grey zones.
The father dances around her body.
Amphillis Zeferra, that’s your name, I gave it to you.
You fill it, you abide by it, shake off the void, the melancholia.
I cut off my energy for you, take it in, swallow, sink.
The mother is always at the shore.
Because she doesn’t trust the gods.
The fathers. That’s how Amphillis was born. Not even her own body she could trust.
“Femme nue debout” by Carolus Duran (1837-1917)