Sylvia Plath Welcomes Ted Hughes into Heaven
I punched you in the sternum
With the great whack of my ghost hand.
I have waited for years to do it,
Put my fist through your heart,
Pick it apart bit by bit.
You knew I would do it
All those premonitions of your death,
you left me detached like that,
In the oven all warm and dead
Like a loaf of brown bread—
Something tells me you enjoyed
The fell ache of my hand on your heart,
Took a thrill from its moment of silence:
Always the adventurer, you are
Finally beaten, the life socked out of you.
O, how I have waited to teach you a thing or two
About deceit. About the way angels mistreat their loved ones.
My murderous hand could not be withdrawn,
So I waited for you in the dark,
Your humanity spent, your exoskeleton worn so thin
I could see where your heart had been
through the shrill thrill of the light pushing through.
Have you caught on yet? Does the bright
White give you a clue?
Our destinies have always been, you
Know, an intertwining of this and that.
O my old love I welcome you back:
A lost handkerchief,
An old shoe found among shadows
Amid the dust where all evil hides.
Out of mind, out of air. Under a stair.
Let me seduce you with my dead hands
Let me sculpt you into your afterlife
Introduce you to Shakespeare and Ovid and Marlowe
Who we both overestimated, borrowed
From far too much. You can stop
running from my death now,
Hold my worn-down ego again. I am
No longer eager to be shaped or mentored:
Just let my light run through your chest,
Feel the pain of the final punch when you realize
you no longer remember to forget while you rest.
Published in Roux, Winter 2005/2006