I waited for her image to appear in the mirror.

I sensed her scent in the trapdoor within my body.

She hollered against all of her ghosts and got lost

And entangled and I shoved my own heart into her

Heartburns.

 

I swallowed her voice and gave her

Agony a thousand names. I moulded a mask with

A beaten mouth. I baptised us both with misery.

I thought we’ll be together, identical, facing every

Single ugliness.

 

Maybe we wanted to run away from one another.

Maybe our bodies weighed too much, all that

Invisibility. They conjured and cursed and our legs

Would spread and our heads would shake nonsensically

And we’d be misguided, thinking it’s us, how could it be

Otherwise?

 

We let shame and disgust enter our bodies.

Artifice desecrating our skins and innards.

We were dolls and they choked us with our

Cut strings. She was the one starting to point

Fingers, almost killed herself with her anger.

 

And I felt it too, burning inside of me.

But I had to face myself too. What is it

That haunts my head and orders my body

To obey and to nod and to absorb everything

That spreads like poison and dysfunction?

 

Her death shot straight into my spine.

Her voice howls underneath my lungs.

I rid myself of apologetic songs and defensive

Litanies. I speak my own language and

Lay down my false faces and smiles on my own

Deserted altar.

Jean_Jacques_Henner_The_Bather

“The Bather” by Jean-Jacques Henner (1829-1905)

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