Childhood Phosphenes: Death Doulas and Brushes

I killed what was young.

The matter was grey, colourful beforehand.

I looked at it, I looked at what I had done.

What I had condemned and distorted.

What could have lived.

Was it really me? With my hands?

Had I been blindfolded and pushed around in circles

Until I couldn’t go on anymore?

Did somebody take my hand,

To misguide me, cripple its powers?

I can’t remember the faces.

I went to bed with my eyes open.

I could always hear the steps and voices.

Following me as they were dying,

Brushing against my brain, my body, the air I breathed in and out.

Was I in there too?

Were they a part of me?

I run around the house,

I run out of stairs, rooms and spaces,

I need liberation and I’m on my way to find it,

Close to me, holding me, keeping me there.

I’m shoved against the wind,

I can’t decipher what’s natural,

I’m trying to feel my weight, what keeps me grounded and concentrated.

Those hands are always coming back, approaching me with clay and glue,

With heat and pressure, the needle and the thread coming at my mouth,

The blanket over my body, to shut out the noise of me.

But it has always been in my hands, me,

And I chose, at one point,

That my blanket is there to keep me warm.


“Portrait of Aleksandra Potocka née Lubomirska as Melpomene” by Pompeo Batoni (1708-1787)


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