I’d single out your artificial scent on the street
And return to faded memories attached to heavy
Stones, an internalised monolith severed from a churchyard.
I crumbled behind your loud imposing steps and couldn’t find
The roots of my own voice in my throat. You’d cripple everything
Beneath your feet. The life-giving heartbeat of others.
You grew such a thick skin that you forgot what it feels like
To be cold. Your gaze hardened, you tightened everything
Within you. You’re easily seduced into identities that have nothing
To do with you. Portray yourself within a brazen frame, seeking meaning
Without, rejecting the girl you have been, killing her silently, maintaining
Your smile. You’ve turned yourself into a statue that will never grow.
“Henriette Sontag” by Paul Delaroche (1797-1856)