I imitated your voice and whispered it
Onto the deadness of your skin.
I read my childhood
Within the pallor thereof.
My lips would widen
To swallow your scent
And to harvest it
In the direction of my blood.
My hair glides over your physical silence
And I see myself as I was.
Your body unknown and intimate to me,
Statuesque, never again will look back at me.
I talk to you still.
I wail and march forward.
I want to kneel on the ground
And spread my arms around cold air
When I think of you and your name.
“Portrait de Madame Chéruit” by Paul César Helleu (1859-1927)