You were so sure, Sylvia,
your reason blooming
like a dandelion of iron,
so sure that your own
constellation of words
will never betray you,
never leave you undone
on an ordinary shore.
And Woolf, her dress
floating like a poppy
in the silks of water,
smiled at you, recalling.
What a strange joy it was
that penchant of the mind,
that strict vocation for light.
The eye clear and clinical
dissecting shadows as
if they were mica scales,
denying nothing,
refusing nothing
supressing nothing.
And Celan, his mouth opened,
drowning quietly in the Seine,
caressed your waist —
after Auschwitz, he said,
only language could
help him resurface.
So sure, Sylvia,
yet knowing intelligence
hangs itself on its own rope,
you fastened your heart
to it, as you twisted your hair
against your neck.
And then, it was too late.
Like Mayakovsky’s
your soul crashed
against everyday life.
A bullet through a lily
or flaming poppies
— it’s just the same.
Everything, light and atom
life and death,
was equal, and nothing
could be ugly or bad.
Once again, love —
O Love, here we are.
I press your wine and metal
close to my lips
and I say :
Into your woundless
red sea
Let us go.