An Auriferous Patricide: Beatrice Cenci

The death of my mother had weakened my life.

As a child. I had lost my only protection.

The father drew no line between his wife and his daughter.

Predators need victims; that has never been my nature.


I want to tell you that I died young.

As I killed him, the law took my life away to compensate.

The despot’s life was worth almost all of ours.

No matter what the tyrant had done to our bodies, our sexes.


The nobleman, the leniency, I am but a mere woman in the

Eyes of the common law. My body his possession.

His creation. That’s not how I had raised myself.

I taught my body other things, and they put my lover to death.


He, who shared my philosophy, my self-love, everything that I had to give.

I am of his blood, my father’s, I have seen his work.

Can’t you understand why I am angry?

I didn’t need to be pushed over the edge, he did that himself.

As I’ve felt him within me, he made an assassin out of me.


I could hear my mother holler from her grave, the women

In his life. We all sought revenge and it would hunt us down in return.

I died cleansed. He disembodied me already, my executioner came too late.

The father’s love opened an early grave for me.


I raised my voice to the churches and mights of Rome,

They knew that my truth could not be tampered with,

And yet they refused to listen and act and let my father roam freely,

Across the streets, our home, my sheets and hers, his flesh-whipping fists.


In September, I rise, on the 11th, I carry my head, my memories,

My fate in my hands and stand on the bridge where they took my

Young life away from me. They all did their best to make a victim out of me,

But what I did was I made a warrior out of me and thus I roam through the


Belligerent streets of Rome and bring peace to my body and soul.

My spirit to this city bound, it speaks of truths, I cannot see my father here,

The liar must have burned, and I am still here, setting an example,

Cradling my own head, as I re-walk the path that led to my demise.


“Portrait of Beatrice Cenci” by either Guido Reni (1575-1642) or Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665)

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