Christine Papin writes of Léa Papin
Poem by Janette Schafer
My body does not exist without you.
She is separate from me now,
so I make her waste away.
Skin sags beneath my eyes —
eyes I would have gouged out —
eyes that we once wrapped
in a scarf about her neck.
Pools of milk, speckled with blood,
they never tell you the iris
turns black when pulled away
from the socket. In the light of
our candle, we waited for
them to come. Your torso shivered,
pressed to me. We are the same blood —
that which is inside our limbs,
that which stains our clothing with
the guilt of our crime. I am a vine that withers,
I fade back into the earth. They do not
let me come to you. I am parched.
Death clings to my tongue,
cleaves to the roof of my mouth.