A Tyrant’s Legacy

I used to observe her jaw,

The masticating tightly closed mouth

That resembles mine,

A taste of tragedy.

And the cheekbones that held her entire face up,

In place, the eye sockets, the disappearing glance.

The evanescence of her disheartened skin

Against my own and we shone,


She murdered her own body slowly,

Her mother showed her how to do it.

She learned the dogmas against her will.

The mother would stick her into clothes

Wishing to bury her, disassociate from her.

The mother with a pillow in her hands,

The ten fingers ready to shove and pull and drag.

The female anger that wasn’t allowed to emerge.

The daughter a painful mirror-image.

She grew into her father’s shoes.

And never found out who she could have been.

I look at her ever-changing physiognomy

And she will always be safe and nurtured in my own body.


“Ophelia” by Albert Ciamberlani (1864-1956)

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