Another Ode to Plath, With My Apologies

“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.














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