Zusammenbruch & Lebhaftigkeit | a poem

we broke


bones splintered

bones immobile

our father’s broken body lies in a hospice bed

our mother’s broken heart walks down the stairs of a morgue

broken sisters left and right

my older brother can’t make it out of bed, broken

my younger brother lies in a coffin with his shattered bones

he broke himself

not looking back at us

but there he is

all of a sudden


we can’t see the parts which are smashed

don’t remember me like this

my younger brother’s unfolded hands

one by the side of his body


in jeans and wool

the soul doesn’t need bones

the other on his belly

he is someone else

someone I don’t know

someone I have never known

someone who I have 30 minutes with

someone who has always stayed within my brother

someone who I’ve seen flash by in his eyes

from time to time

but he never introduced himself

never uttered his name

I treat his body as if it were made out of glass

he is already broken

broken glass

the worst thing has already happened

tiptoeing around my broken brother

I familiarise myself with the truth in front of me

we broke into each other

together we broke down

life has exited your body

all of it


attached to all of us

your life is a life that sticks

there’s the language of the dead

and there’s the language of the living

those who remember

those who have memorised

those who physicalise

those who externalise

nobody vanishes into thin air

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

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