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A White Mask in a Dark Corridor by Karine Ancellin

A French lover in New York

impeccably dressed

part of the fashion crowd.

With the New York glitterati,

they meet at The Pierre

happy hour whisky.

Holidays sailing in Greece

handsome tan, well read,

treading the trends of the times

with a pronounced French accent

a fancy foreign friend to most,

you tried my blue mother,

you had a daughter, me

you lured my aristocratic step-mother,

you had a son, my half brother,

you married your house cleaning-secretary,

you were too old.

Racist bathtub of bleached porcelain

narcissistic wall to wall mirrors:

muffling the thumps, 

encapsulating masked malice  

reverberating lacks, silences and love unimagined

morphing plastic surgery scars, immigrant temperamental camouflage.  

Alive, I kept you the parent ideal

dead, excruciatingly, I emptied your failure.

Karine Leno Ancellin was born and grew up in New York but then moved around to many different countries. She worked on “Hybrid identities” for her PhD at the Vrije Universiteit of Brussels. She earned an MA, with Honours, in Literature at the Charles V Institute of Paris VII-JUSSIEU. She is now a professor, writer and translator (English/French) living in Athens, Greece. She has published articles and interviews for the WIP, Kulturissimo, and other media. She is now involved in the promotion of pan-Hellenic Literature. She co-founded a poetry society with Angela Lyras (www. Some of her poems have been put into music by the Jazz composer Leila Olivesi.

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