friction | a poem

I gave myself away

without knowing who I was at all


I was moulded by all the terrors you tried to conceal


even your half-smiles felt superior to the rest of the world


empathy thief


you preached that I had no place in the world

and I believed you for too long


very early in my childhood

who I was

and who you wanted and not wanted me to be



everything you silenced from your past

resurrected through my mouth


everything undealt with

developed a new shape


and it resembled you too much

but now swallowing wouldn’t suffice


keeping me safe was never a priority of yours


she knows too much, feels too much, speaks too much

what did you expect

feeding me with your shed skins


life and death are manmade words


I walked through the men’s clothing department

I wondered if people ever stopped shopping

and then right next to me I saw a jacket

on a white shiny surface

a jacket that looked like the one

you loved and wore

when they put you to rest

in your coffin

the one you wore when you were so alive

the one you took with you into the fire

jeans and flesh

all ashes

the sleeves, armless, handless

I stood still and turned around

and saw you with your eyes half-shut

and told myself on my way to work

yes, this is a fact

but you have existed

and this is your way of saying hello

My own drawing © Laura Gentile 2021 | Instagram: @melpomenepaintings

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