A Criterion of Malice

She struggled but did not move.

Her body a coffin was.

A dead queen sitting on her throne

And froze.


To death, to the stars above, she could never rest.

The pain she felt had been too much.

Never would it be contained or processed.

Never would this girl a woman be.


The body and its traumas,

The dreams of other people.

The blanket covers her grey chest,

Her yellow fingers stuck amidst her deadened curls.


Never had she been more beloved,

That is the tragedy indeed, never did she receive

That many kisses, so much warmth.

Her eyes, a clock that came to a halt.


Hold me tight, mother.

Don’t blow my candle out tonight.

The incubus is traveling across my bedside.

And I think of her and I know: she found the light.



“Conversione della Maddalena” by Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-c.1656)

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