We stood there as children
Stronger than we would ever be. We
Didn’t hear the screams yet, the rushed
Steps and the taste of our own tears.
The dead glitter in your eyes when
You tried to suck the life out of us.
You taught me how to punish my
Body even further, in solitude, in
Silence, for existing, for crying, for
Despairing alongside you, under your
Regiment of sorrow. You needed to drag
Me into your acts of insanity. I sat next to her
And encountered a world that belonged to us only.
We hid away in our tombs of self-made joys.
To not be touched and ransacked by you and
Your toxic worldview. You were on the hunt in
The home you created. I know all of your speeches
By heart. I never heard the word peace. I wish you
Could have seen yourself in the mirror when you
Blemished our skins and crippled our minds.
I wanted to live. I catapulted myself out the present
Around you, always wanting to be out of reach, out
Of touch, escape your hands and tongue and voice,
Not hit the walls and crumble with you and because of
You and your never-ending and gut-wrenching wrath. Your
Rooms held me prisoner and I focused on the dreamworlds
Of windows. I held her hand and we vanished together.
You followed me as you’ve put yourself into
The structure of my mind, the terrors in my
Stomach, the fears and solitude. I created my own
Footsteps. Something within me takes be back.
Back and forth. Will this ever end? Will I ever be able
To disentangle myself from your throttling patterns?
In reality, everything has already happened and I stare
Into the void, terrified, in my present, evoking your presence.
“Santa Cecilia” by Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1656)