The Icons of Tragic Irony

I hissed curses onto her duplicated face

And she looked at my gaping mouth

And learned in detached silence.


Her eyes were the largest I had ever seen

And created and yet I craved to shut them.

I didn’t know that when she was born my grave had been dug.


I recognise my blemishes on her fabricated skin.

I am haunted by the reminiscence of my scent on

Her eyelids. The tongue drenched in tears.


I heard her sing a lullaby to me and I will

Never learn how to fall asleep. Her open arms

Seem like a threat to me. Immovable.


I made her and now I stutter.

I acknowledge her violence and

Lost my own to her.


She crowned herself mistress

And wipes away my tears whilst

I try to sink all of my teeth in my bone marrow.


She knocks against my dried-up cheeks.

Hammering her hymns into me.

And I murmured prayers to shrink me.


She drowns me without putting her hands on my forehead.

She smiles and everybody interprets it as care.

But I see the dagger-tooth pounding the blood out of her lower lip.


I disappear behind my grimaces.

I am buried within her, within myself.

The devil that I pretended to love and

That wants me to pay with my heart and soul.


Bone to bone, wallet to wallet,

Executing steps on tiptoes.

And I remember my tirades that light up in

My daughter’s face.


“Sirenen” by Ferdinand Max Bredt (1860-1921)

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