A Corporeal Threnody

The hand that forms me

The hand that holds my neck

The hand that devours me with its nails

The hand that moulds me to the core.


The eyes without shame

The eyes that make me feel less than whole

The eyes who see me as I am not

The eyes who force me into action.


The nose that seeks me out

The nose that ignores my childhood

The nose that determines where I go

The nose that digs into my skin and particles of flesh.


The arms that betrayed me deeply

The arms, those of a mythical snake,

Revolving, slithering, tightening, gallivanting,

The arms that spoke of protection.


It’s the voice, the unholy one,

The darkest of terrors, the one that is regurgitated,

Its lies and promises, inconsistencies, the visceral intent,

The voice that condemned me with its thousand knives,

And as it shoved them down my throat,

I evoked images of fire, and of spitting it, bursting into a million flames,

My mouth’s golden potency, against yours, and exorcise my devils

That you housed in my body.


“Alice” by Henry Tanworth Wells (1828-1903)

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