She asked me what she could do to matter. Her naked
Face wrestled on her upper arm and she bit her flesh
Softly, failing at keeping her tears intact, silenced, dry.
Surrounded by empty bottles and numb music, she evoked
Her own substance. And as her cheeks reddened and she looked up,
I could see the love she had for herself in secret.
I held her hands in mine and sensed the nightmares traversing
Her flesh. She shivered covered in her loneliness and I shared mine
With her. How could she grow with everybody stomping on her once
She makes a move? She told me that love did that to her.
That her mother taught her how to misname things for everybody’s sake.
That her language had been deformed and abused and she looked for
Her own visibility on the bathroom floor, where her mother used to be.
“Young Parisian Woman with Flowered Hat” by József Rippl-Rónai (1861-1927)