Childhood Phosphenes: Knives and Air

They stigmatised my body.

Thrust it against a multi-headed wall.

I couldn’t sense my limbs.

Couldn’t recognise my heartbeat.

I fell off the horse.

My head in my childhood.

They took my body in vain

And stabbed a thousand holes and stories and lies in it,

Pierced my skin, my matter, my texture

Licking the blades, the endless curious violence.

And how could I get up when nobody was looking at me?

Listening to me, feeling me get up in the morning,

How hard it can be.

I’m brushing my hair and I just want to pull, pull, pull.

I am brushing my teeth and want to shove, shove, shove the

Toothbrush into my throat, and pull the cloning

Spirit out, scratch it out, away, scrape and scratch, all of them, out.

Now you listen to me, I have to say it to myself,

I am the only one who is listening,

Hold your feet, your legs, your belly, your shoulders and head,

You are your own newborn,

Nobody has said a word yet,

Nobody has touched you yet,

Laid eyes on you yet,

Known you yet.

It is your turn, yours first, always,

Setting the boundaries that your body has never been given.

That your body was robbed of.

Somebody else predetermined them for you when you were too young to understand.


“Statue Beatrice Cenci” by Harriet Hosmer (1830-1908)


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