I scratch away the skin of my face.
I keep digging and digging, searching for
The cadaver within me that has been left there, exiled.
My tearing fingers are erasing
The surface. My face will never be good
Enough and I don’t know in whose eyes.
Scratching is the womanhood you taught me.
Violent nails marking their way into my skin.
And then you discard me, distance yourself
From what you have done and call me negative,
And you are devoured by your own ignorance.
I never gave birth to these emotions, they were
Formed alongside me. Inherited. Generations
Of women and men pecking out the substance of girls.
“Porträt einer Schauspielerin” by Hans Makart (1840-1884)