I drowned in the shadow of your gestures.
I tried to call it love, but it had always been
A foreign notion that was out of reach and sight.
I stared at you and felt all of the things that I wasn’t.
My voice became louder and the light on you: brighter.
I know what it feels like to be cruel, to be envious,
Self-destructive and so very enamoured and desperately
Alone, the contrary of sedated. I imploded at the resignation
Of touch and delicacy. I transformed myself into a brutal
Force with countless pumping hearts.
I thought that within me I’d find a massive hole,
Everything rejected and obsolete. I believed and
Trusted everything I saw in everybody’s eyes. About me.
Who they thought I was. And I’d oblige as my body
Fell apart without a blink.
This cannot be my girlhood. Crushed by other girls.
This cannot be my coming-of-age, breaking the hearts
Of self-effacing girls and mine, using boys left and right,
And being used downward-faced. Emerge empty-hearted
And severely burned. Will this be my womanhood shunning
My body and all its attachments and sentimentalities, locked
Far away from all the soul-devouring sexes?
I come back to you, the very first time
I felt heartbroken and blind to everything
Radiant beneath my own skin. When I hungered
For elements that I would only find within but
Sought after in the most lost way imaginable.
I had shed my skins so many times, always afraid that
Beneath the ambushed surface I’d find nothing left of myself
And yet I did it anyhow.
“Study Of A Woman For Offering To Love” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905)