Die Unsterbliche / The Immortal Woman: A Poem

I’d stick to the walls, to his dreams,

Roam within the rooms that he offered me,

My body, the notes that he played with his

Eyes closed, the fingers growing, serpents,

Multitudes, grassroots, unfinished, connecting

The whole house with his screams, from his mouth

Into my mind, his body, her body, my body, helpless.


I watched his poison speak up against me,

Run down my flesh, my skin, the trickling

Effect of his education, arrested, impregnated

With traps and faults, the vault of absence, cards

In my mouth, not played right, lost from the initiation,

Branded me as a part of your tribe, stuck in a fetal position

I sought out my lovers, and none could carry me, myself

Included, I’d put myself, as a burden, into hands that smelled

Just like yours, just like me, you’ve been there, you know,

The weight of me, the masquerade, the hands held tight,

The eyes shut, deranged, the prayer at night, the oracle of the

Abandoned idea of love, the hill where garbage rots, the rifle

Finger pointing at my chin, the flowers of death you put

On my tongue and begged me to say thank you, praise you

For your patience, bittersweet, territory, my body, yours,

Stamp on, step up, robes caressing the floor, dust on my skin,

Blood on your hands.


“Mädchen im getupften Kleid” by Egon Schiele (1890-1918)

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