a dress the colour of suffering

Secrecy by Margaret Atwood.

"Secrecy flows through you, 
a different kind of blood. 
It’s as if you’ve eaten it 
like a bad candy, 
taken it into your mouth, 
let it melt sweetly on your tongue, 
then allow it to slide down your throat 
like the reverse of uttering, 
a word dissolved 
into its glottals and sibilants, 
a slow intake of breath—

internal slipping out.jpg

And now it’s in you, secrecy. 
Ancient and vicious, luscious 
as dark velvet. 
It blooms in you, 
a poppy made of ink.

You can think of nothing else. 
Once you have it, you want more. 
What power it gives you! 
Power of knowing without being known, 
power of the stone door, 
power of the iron veil, 
power of the crushed fingers, 
power of the drowned bones 
crying out from the bottom of the well."

 

Images: 

Mariele Neudecker. The Internal Slipping Out Into The World At Large, 2000.

Václav Stratil. Monastic Patient, 1991-1994.