hair/thorn | paper/crypt | a smudged lipstick poem

she, with her cramping hand,

holds a cracked mask close to her face

and does nothing but cry beneath

*

he preaches that he needs to teach me lessons

and runs around the house naked

and I observe his body from imprisonment

and fall into the abyss of my origins

*

a kitchen towel, ever-wet, threatens me with silence

and monotony and repressed adjectives and confessions

all curdling in her entrails, she’s had enough

and I understand that my face needs to evaporate

dig itself into the marmoreal floor

and only then come back out

when she’s done falling apart

*

women stand in a shower mausoleum

water hammers itself into their skulls

their crushing casual thoughts of self-betrayal

a stampede on their heavy faces

their hair, spider legs, falling off their thighs and hips

into the drain, getting stuck in an unfathomable pattern

confronting their overfilled comatose gazes

*

she did to her doll

what she couldn’t do to herself

and she was pleased that destruction was an act of creation

*

I listen to the dismantlement of my name in rotten mouths

and lose respect left and right

authority figures salivate and beg wordlessly

and they stuff my throat with words that are not mine

*

I am familiar with the colours of death

I touched what lay rigid

I kissed what grew colder and harder

my body against death

leaves behind the false promise of warmth

*

his cracked bones, innumerable, splintered,

self-erased, morning sun, golden boy, he won’t come back,

he stormed down into an abyss that looked too appealing

to be so very revolting, to me

*

the abyss broke his body

but he felt cradled for the first time, perhaps

*

and sometimes, still, when I’m trying to fall asleep

your body jumps right into me

and I feel death all over me

and your name reappears in my mouth, in my mouth

as if I hadn’t already embodied your discarded self

photograph © Laura Gentile 2021 | Instagram: @melpomenepaintings

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