I want to be Sylvia Plath again,
forgive me Gwyneth.
I want to pull my head out of that oven and,
as if it had all been a sort of strange waking dream,
an astonishing conjunction of sepulchral happenstance,
I will emerge, yawning, from the womb of mortal memory,
a withered babe from the tomb of an ashy oven.
I will turn off the gas and pick up the pen
where I left off, writing my own living epitaph.
Barefoot perhaps, and no longer in a toxic swoon
to the ghostly trance, but now become that death itself,
I’ll star again as Sylvia Plath, pathfinder to oblivion,
come back in form to share my poems with you,
poems that won’t be understood unless good death
has favored you with its own dear kiss
of spectral benediction.
In any case they’ll read quite well, since death
is eloquence itself, and thus I’ll speak unspoken things
in words which yet will shock the sheep,
un-shackling them from their own mind wool
with a shearing kiss that reaches deep,
till they pour out of their own lamb skins
and tumble softly through their sleep.
In this return I’ll know what I am, neither woman nor man,
serenely opening out of death into that bright inviting light
which suicide-drunk poets seek, and with the restless music
of your own confounded longing I’ll adorn your morbid sleep,
your pallid dreams, for I have slept and I have dreamed,
and as I waken into this, the life I never could resist,
both hope and fear wash clear of themselves,
and what’s revealed about the tulips
shall endlessly amaze you:
so softly, silently
opening . . .