The Wastelands of Punishment

It’s tough to cut through the skin

You enveloped me with. It carries

Your scent and heavy conscience,

Unbearable. I walk toward the unknown

And feel you pressed against my spine.

Your dark breath in my impenetrable hair.


And you want me to sing your song.

You want to hear my voice against yours.

Your forehead hammering against my skull.

The fatal taste of your vocal cords, I try not to

Forget the things they said, remember your

Cruelty. And I cough because I can’t breathe,

Thinking of you.


The air running through my body

Was too loud a sound for you, too alive,

Too alike. You used to stare at all the pillows.

I needed blankets. I think of her in your

Condemned discarded universe, the mouldy

Drawers of your heart.


How could you touch and hold

My tiny hands after what they

Were forced to do? How could you

Pressure me to stop crying?

You put a fishnet of lies around me

In winter and preached that I was warm.

I look at your mouth and eradicate its sounds.


You stomp around my body.

Always wanting me out and away

From you. You saw that I had been cut

And bruised and you thought now we’re

Even. You wanted me to see and experience

The world through your eyes. You never

Gave me the chance to actually sin.


“Sleeping Bacchante” by Gérard de Lairesse (1641-1711)

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