Gossip by Susie Gharib

The tenant of Wildfell Hall, in an aesthetic style,
amputated small talk with a palette knife. 
Catherine Cookson, the child with no “Da”
became the Dame of the British Empire.
I look ahead and people melt before my eyes,
their solidity dissolving into a mere mirage,
a fragmented lie.
I have learned to reduce to invisibility
whoever attempts to pollute my path
with tongues that wag
like resurrected hags’.

They bite into names with rabid fangs,
slander with the flickering of a Medusa’s head,
chew, ruminate until their bile
retreats into their tainted minds.

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