Poetry | I Want to Watch You Crumble

By Nina Santucci, For The Pitt News

i want to watch you crumble.

inspired by Phyllida Barlow’s Untitled: upturnedhouse


are you still? 

do you quake, like me?

quiver to touch, to feel.


 i want to feel you.

my fingertips tremble,

throb with temptation,

 suspended in the stark chill

 your symmetrical skin radiates.


i want you to feel me.

 my frigid fingers,

palms of pillowed snow.

 my caress a cushion

 for your fated fall.


are you dark? 

are you haunted, like me?

hollow inside, void.


i want to know you,

peel away your painted layers,

 explore your empty insides, 

study your colorless skeleton.

 but, our flesh will never fuse.


i want you to know me.

 my vast, livid empty,

 intestines disintegrating

, abdomen absent of life,

 body barren of warmth.


are you lonely?

long for a friend, like me?

for someone to love, to ruin.


i want to hurt you.

shred your shackled shapes,

 ruin all of your right angles.

 smash your cement slabs

 into concrete confetti.


i want you to hurt me.

 demolish me, devour me,

tear my limbs from torso. 

mercy my dismembered mind, 

and obliterate my brains.


are you mean?

do you prefer silence, like me?

sweet solitude, peace.


i want to watch you crumble.

 every pastel puzzle piece

 pulverized into dust and color, 

your concrete panels colliding

 carelessly on the marble floor.


i want you to crush me,

 shatter my skull,

end my life elegantly,

so my substances meld

 with once a masterpiece.


are you perfect? 

are you a phony, like me?

paint on a face, play pretend.


i want to be you.

structured and sound,

a ballerina in her balancing act.

 valued for vibrancy,

vacant contents not considered.


i want to be art.

open-mouthed marveling,

 warranted wows and wonder,

 admiring the act,

the purpose of the painful pose.


we are alone, together.

both quake, both quiver, 

neither crumble.

Write to Nina at [email protected]