L’inconnue / The Unknown Woman: A Poem

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It became my life’s work

To render everything that you

Bullied into ugliness and deformation,

Beautiful.

 

I write the pain out of my stomach,

Foie gras, it was you, the foreign pain,

Nesting within me, the outside litany.

 

The faces I saw at night, the shadows

Dancing between each gluttonous finger,

Up and down, ghosts on my skin.

 

I wished that the blanket melted with my skin

To cover up everything remotely exposed and

Vulnerable, you made me, you knew exactly.

 

The art of dismantling a daughter.

The body turned robotic. Suffering

From a heat that had nothing to do with love.

 

Dripping like sweat and wax onto my forehead,

The sacred clandestine lust of ancestors, sealed,

Repercussions of the old onto the young.

 

You tried to atone. I retrieved my body.

My mouth. I gave you no words. They never

Mattered to you in the first place. I was not supposed

To say a single word.

 

They tasted like acid in my mouth.

 

And let them climb on top of me,

Advancing, preaching about sacrifices,

My body became unsustainable under your regimes.

 

For too long. All that pointless fury.

Shotguns right into a pit that outgrew

Itself, the arena, the bloodbath, I grew up

In your dynasty of terrors.

 

Women stigmatised against the wall.

You, holding your cock right in front

Of my eyes, playing with it, casually,

Eyes on the television, I looked at you, a

Girl, yours, in fact, and you didn’t care, you

Knew, I don’t know, of course, you knew I

Was right there, or you forgot about me,

I didn’t matter enough, ugliness, to say the least, right there,

On the sofa, right in front of me, not in my heart.

800px-Egon_Schiele_-_Sitzende_Frau_von_hinten_-_1917

“Sitzende Frau von hinten” by Egon Schiele (1890-1918)

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