I have never met a woman without apologetic shame.
She works herself to death in every single role.
The city is her depressed circus and night-time lampposts hold her up.
She wanders through the controversies of the city and refuses to identify
With the people that she sees. Nothing irritates her more than meaninglessness.
She promised herself never to seek comfort in resignation, waiting for death to strike.
Shame is active and has its own body language, I received it before my birth.
Your unleashed face was so close to mine,
Your saliva on my chin and forehead.
When you held my jaw and released
Your mental illness upon me, I thought
About womanhood. Standing up to you.
Mocking you even. You have no self-control.
I defy you. And you wish you’d have a stone to crush my skull.
You called the girls that I considered to be friends “whores”.
And I see you smile at them lecherously as if they
Tasted like ice cream. You’re a sad old story and I threw my pity away.
You try to devour me with your hollering voice, your mouth wide opened.
I see such a shattering lack of substance in your gullet.
And instead of being intimidated, I become bored.
And you become predictable to me because you never grow.
“Profile of a Young Woman” by József Rippl-Rónai (1861-1927)