She wasn’t any good at choosing friends.
Maybe she had one or too many for each segment of her life.
The right people out, the wrong ones in.
Always searching, never satisfied,
Maybe her expectations were too high,
Maybe she flinched at the smallest sign of hopelessness.
When she ran across the street,
She didn’t feel compelled to look behind her,
She imagined hordes.
She ran for as long as it took
Her tears to dry on her cheekbones.
And smell the rain on her clothes.
Friendships were a violent thing.
Family was a volatile web.
Lovers were a trap, unworthy of the title.
The streets and eyes too narrow,
She claimed she was expected elsewhere,
Far away, so that everybody lost sight, track of her.
And how she grew up
To be not like her, to dismantle
Everything that kept her going in secret.
People stuck their feet out,
Chewing their nails,
Shaking their heads.
And she ran faster.
She had always left them, never had it been otherwise.
They exploited her at every standstill.
She invented stories about people who could never exist.
People she tried to lay to rest.
People who forced her into a state of sheer chaos.
As she covered half her face with her hand,
She forgot the look on it,
Digging out the essence.
Maybe I had lovers, masculine, me,
The savage girl, liberated and tormented,
Taking what I deemed mine, to hold nevermore.
My feminine part always came out abused and rigged,
Swept under the carpet by men and women alike.
They killed off my masculinity to make sure I felt incomplete.
To receive and please and love and embrace,
Those golden serenities,
Eradicating the will to put up a good fight.
To believe in the good; the bad: unidentifiable.
Those men were fully masculine by the worst standards
And so were the women, fully masculine, abused masculinity,
What is naturally good they twisted into something despicable.
I was running out of options.
My body was not my own.
If I didn’t have a right to my own body what good was I left with?
Southern dogmas, the holy screaming, the belt in the belltower.
To sink into my own body and become liquid,
I shut my eyes and let it happen,
Survival meant repression, amnesia,
Survival, self-love, shut your eyes, little girl.
I had to drag her out of the backchamber.
She belonged center stage in my own intimate limelight.
I inspected her body as it stood still for once and she came back to her senses.
And I recognised the rebel, the boxer, the free-thinker, the creator.
And I could feel her song, one of ashes and burned flesh, dried-out hearts.
But she wouldn’t be me without her transformational powers turning miseries into golden symphonies.
“The Penitent Magdalene (A Study)” by Jurij Šubic (1855-1890)