Kampfbegierde / Bellicosity: A Poem

You handed me the knife

So I would never forget my wounds

So that I would never forget the source

Of my wounds, the impact, of you, the

Source of life and pain, I ran away from death

As long as I could live, I had seen enough of it,

In all its forms, so close to the decorations of

Destruction that you surrounded me with,

Running and fighting until all energy would

Be lost, given to you, handing myself over. No more.


You went on and on about your sacrifices

And yet I have never seen your heart on

The sacrificial block where all our vital organs lay

In sheer terror and love for you, crippled, trying

To survive, begging for a life that had already been

Given but that you never gave up draining.


That’s the essence of you, lying as you’re giving,

Emptying as you preach that you act out of love

And dedication. I remember your body. The body that

You played with in front of me, the body ejecting mine,

Unformed, undeveloped, gotten rid of, hanging on to,

The body that played you, I’d rather look at your body

Than what it harbours within, all those ghosts within you,

The body makes them look harmless, oh, I knew better.


There would never be enough room in the house

To escape you and the devils you fed on a daily basis.

Like clockwork. On my skin. Your curses. Your utter

Malfunctions. Someone beat the heart out of you.

And you multiplied in that state. Scorn. Harmfulness.

Prayers against me. Stepping hard on the pedal.


A tree could end it all. Your thoughts electrified, screaming

Against the wind, throttling the water, bashing my head

Against your body, moulding against each other, repeating

Who I am, how you see me, a disaster, grinding your face

Against mine, me on all fours, pulverised, fragile in the storm

You evoked.


“Tod und Mädchen” by Egon Schiele (1890-1918)

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