The older she gets, the more she knows what men can do. The Victorian artist and feminist Amanda Firenze doesn’t back away from talking about what we don’t want to hear. …
Life has been kind to me, on most days anyway
bestowed its finest lullabies in punctured stars
carrying the flutter of a fairy’s broken wing
like the rustle of leaves as the wind coaxes it
to play its instrument and reach for the sun
but in the unquiet wards of the local hospital
it’s the incessant beeps of fading monitors
the collective breath of struggle and torment
a constant reminder of the brevity of existence
and the lasting impact of a fractured heart.
Humanity in the abyss — a noiseless wave gathers.
How much did darkness make you bleed and suffer,
force you to survive despite wanting to perish?
I missed a lot of life, but maybe you’ll recover.
Drowning beneath the waves, dying from thirst.
At least, at last, you’ll be able to feel something.
Know what it’s like wried, dried, and split and burst,
as though the sound of constant war changes nothing,
maybe you’ll finally realise the actions of your words.