Damaris’ Apology to Herself

The dust erased her gently.

Damaris in the corner.

She can hear them all pouting.

Glued to her cheeks, left and right.


The apple peeled to the core.

The emptied ashtray.

High summer, an aching beard to be.

Sour milk, enveloping the breath, the darkness of the cold room.


Butter smeared, salt doing its dance.

Coffee embalming the lips, an afterthought.

Silence engulfs decades of noise.

Buttermilk, clothes loosening, come to the front, attend.


It’s a dare for Damaris.

Damaris who apologises for every single thing, all the time.

It’s what women do, why?

Death is not something you apologise for, Damaris.


Does anyone utter them to you?

You can hear them all, but what they do is put you down.

Too hot it is for her in that room where decay strikes.

She is tired, she can sleep, he has to face his ghosts on his own.


Thinks that she belongs there because he made a ghost out of her too.

Seen her in black and white, he has no idea who his daughter will become.

Without his hollering. Without his agony. All that noise and rumbling.

He set the house on fire with a smile, his last sight was her and her back was turned.


“Eugénie Ritter” by Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant (1845-1902)


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