Gespensterorakel / An Oracle of Ghosts

I remember her face when he urged

His face onto hers.

I remember the twitch in her tight lips

When he ignored her face.

I remember her body, the posture,

And how I was capable of reading it

As a child, as a daughter, as a girl

And I observed how he simply didn’t care,

How he pretended and leaned right in,

How he overrode the language of her body,

How he disconnected her, how her severity

Was a game for him, bending the rules, breaking

Their necks. Right in front of me.


I remember incompatibility. Bitterness.

Expectations. Sexual. Availability. Resignation.

Heads that fitted the mould of a sink.

Executioner’s block. Medieval. Chemical. Cleaning

Products. The rhythmical humming within her body,

The movement, the voices of exorcism, dusting, wiping,

Her life away as she hated it, as she couldn’t stand it,

The rotten kisses, her body misread, overturned, not read at all,

Pages crumbled, the cloud of cigarettes, thunder, yellow, bursting,

Inside of his bathrobe, his sex, always, the bed a Colosseum,

Falling into the trap, cornered, shredded by the lion’s fangs.


He had no interest. I remember his cruel stamina,

How he chose to be ignorant of her,

How he screamed at her for hours, mostly at night,

I associate his howling with sleep, out of control,

Unleashed, I was in that bed too, I had been in her bed,

When he created, when they made me, I had been both,

Separated, spread, infused, my body, he pretended to

Philosophise, and she burned her fingers trying to shut him up.


I remember him, someone else, who matters in this story,

Coming to our rescue, it escalated, I called him, it had been

A matter of instants, one devil for another, but even devils

Wear halos occasionally. He cared. In his raincoat. The sky

Was clear. I can’t remember what happened later. The other

One had always been the greatest actor. Devils can’t fool

One another though. They know of their lack of innocence.


I can’t remember what happened.

I learned that I had to save myself.

She did too.

I realised that listening to him, crouched and suffocated,

Would make me sick eventually, nothing could be worse

Than giving in to his forces and I revisited the strength

Within my knees, then legs and feet, then mouth

And language, right in his face, my body standing on solid ground

Watching his foundation shake and shatter right in front

Of my eyes.

woman floating on water
Photo by Daria Sannikova on



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