Projection and Reflection

I would stare into the mirror

And feel revolted

As I saw you there with me.

I thought that I’d exorcised you

Taken what you put into my body

And catapulted it into a black hole

That doesn’t belong to me.

But there you were –

In my disappointment, my outrage, my loneliness,

My madness and my violence.

In my womanly features, a man,

The partial creator of me.

I won’t embody a tree with rotten fruits.

You engulfed me in your mindset like an Iron Maiden

And I couldn’t drag you out of my skin,

Distilling the poison, detoxicate it,

Trusting that I would finally emerge

And that you wouldn’t have to let me.

You’d never reveal the truth of you,

One story buries another,

One fate worse than the other,

All hands drowning each other

And you sit back while birth happens

Thinking that it will guarantee your survival.

You looked over my face and put yours on it

Everything that needs to disappear into a pocket.

I’m trying to see what I see and what is there

Not what you repress and reject.

That’s what I read in your eyes when you held me,

Looked at me. The obnoxious truth, the saviour, a glass too full.

And you’d call me a monster and yet drink it all,

Over and over again, the master of emptiness.


“Maiden of the harvest” by Jean-François Portaels (1818-1895)

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