The puppet master watched her from the side wings.
Holding the axe and the torch.
She escaped onstage.
As his desires blocked all exits.
Effie goes back to being a child.
In this man’s arms, she’s hopeless.
As he tightens the grip, she struggles with herself.
Letting him demand, reign, force.
Her mind loses all power over her body.
The torturous mechanisms that he instates.
She gives up and becomes sand.
Ashamed; she thought she had grown.
Believed she became a woman this time.
Hoped she recuperated her will and determination, autonomy.
She blames it on herself, that she is weak and damaged,
That she is to be taken advantage of.
Then, in the puddle of her self-disgust and fury, she remembers her sister.
How she had jumped because of his touch.
How she had confided in her, about her agony and paralysis.
Disintegrating in a room with no exits.
Suddenly, Effie felt the life return to her bones.
The agency assembling in her fists, her back and her mouth.
Death would not take her as her sister’s finger points to the only liberating entity.
And as she disarms the narcissist, she walks proudly offstage.
“Portrait de Madame Léon Maître” by Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904)