unversöhnlich | transgenerational poetry

I swallowed

she said

but I didn’t accept

she said

memories growing out of proportion

in her body



sometimes the truth

found its language

in her mouth acidic


she hid her dying self

behind a locked bathroom door

I’ve studied tiles after tiles in my childhood adolescent

cheeks on the dead floor

waiting for my face to dry

waiting for her to come out

to look like herself

like her

on the inside


what happened between my parents

what happened in my parents’ bed

has always been a part of me


my mother tries to hold her bones in place

at the breakfast table

my father plays

checks how many pieces he can take

before she falls apart


and he sees beauty

and whispers

I did that


and she recollects

what is left of her

and rebuilds her home


my mother is not there

when my father comes


she leaves herself

body unanswered

unaccounted for

and he distributes himself

for as long as he wants to


my mother’s mausoleum

my mother’s playground


my father transcends his body to inflict pain

my mother vanishes to make room


because sex meant servitude

sex meant loss of self

sex meant desecration

sex meant peace

sex meant bringing home the bacon

sex meant his thing

sex meant denial

sex meant sacrifice


all the things I didn’t see

filled our house

there to outlive all things seen

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

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