la petite mort | a poem

and what do you mean

when you say to me

you’re a good girl


has that ever been a good thing


you say something

and everyone goes deaf

but I know what you mean


replaced ugliness with prettiness

with prettiness

one word with another

and another

and misguided my language

my comprehension

the truth

holy ground

rotten fruit


I don’t want to hear

what comes out of your mouth

it’s numb

it’s not alive

it’s a waste of time


I worked for one devil after another

and barely got by

barely made it out alive

and he counts his coins

his stiff fingers


money he made off other people’s hard labour

off my body and bones and muscles and forced smile

you want me on my knees for offering me a hot meal

on my knees for one basic right

two basic rights

three basic rights

break my back and still worry

sucking the life force out of me

you want gratitude

gratitude for keeping me under your bootheel

be loyal, be grateful, it could be so much worse

so that’s how you sleep at night

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

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