patched-up saints | a poem

I left fragments of myself

in the women I sought out

I absorbed parts of them that pleased me

that sustained me

kept me company

and held me when my mother wouldn’t

when my mother became very small

and untouchable

I sought out older women

and fed myself

I let them in and kept them locked in one place

never to reveal myself fully

stay there

a gallery of women

who form an image of me

they hold on to me

and what I promised to give

never said I would

I am running away

I’m always a fugitive

my mother comes back to me

and I share our lies

and forget about the rage

that drove me out of the house

that smelled of my father’s cancerous infidelities

of my brother’s all-consuming madness

of my sister’s obsolete martyrdom

My own drawing © Laura Gentile 2022 | Instagram: @melpomenepaintings

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