“I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby
That melts to a shriek
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern
Ash, Ash — —
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there — — ”
from Lady Lazarus, by Sylvia Plath
Ariel, Restored —
it was a thirtieth birthday gift,
gift like manna is a gift — —
and there was a charge, a very large charge
(I mistook it for an offering) but there was a charge –
it came from the vibration in the currents
of her frequency, her tendency
to roar, where I was assuaged by the tracing
and re-tracing of her tongue, before
I could even think to contemplate of suicide-watching —
and there was, of course, the great coincidence
(or the cause for my great concern)
in our same marching ages, crossing time – to intersect
at a thirtieth birth & forty-four years of a successful thirtieth suicide;
a morbid serendipity. . . for the one still
living, still. breathing, still
contemplating. . .
the significance of an ancient history
written into ancient poems. They’ve gone
quiescent again these days, but
I am . . . I am . . .
and she is always stasis
in the same place; still
while I have moved twelve years apart . . .
I do return, though not as often,
to her third-charm death-door
to poke and stir the ashes of the Lady Lazarus
when I am restless
( so don’t believe her when she tells you
there is nothing there. )
because I cannot quit helping myself to her.
( I never could )
but I am learning to quit begging my apologies . . .
I just needed one more poem to say
I only wish she could have been present
for the unveiling of her fortieth birthday
gift; gift of shedding a skin that was too-long constrictive;
a fourth go-around to make self-amends . . .
There are some gifts, I know, that can make every difference.