Control // Poetry


The conductor hid the metronomes
inside the villa’s every room.
Allegro, agitato, he’d command
And I’d comply.
Perhaps a more benevolent adagissimo if his mood allowed.
I knew better than to disobey
My maestro.

He was controlling
And I was controlled
One thrust of his baton was all it took
A tender slip of his hand all that he offered
Without him,
I was nothing.
He reminded me.

When he’d leave
I’d pace the halls
Awaiting his return
My pulse matching the rhythm
He left behind.
Andante, allegretto, vivace
Whatever the tempo
My heart would follow.

No reprieve from his gaslighting
His control
was complete.
Though I longed to set foot outside these walls
I was obedient, afraid
For without the metronome’s
Hypnotic reminder
Who would guide my beating heart
My maestro, my god.

Elisa Subin
Elisa Subin’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Scryptic, Not One of Us, Hevria, and Kveller. “As to why I write…the truth is simple. I have no choice. My poems are autobiographical, and they demand to be shared. My identity as a woman is critical because my poetic essence is purely female. But female on my own terms.” 

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