Sylvia Plath’s “Prospero Shows Ariel How to Open a Hellgate”

PROSPERO: We make new stock from the salt.

Let the mercuric
of a rose close when the garden
shadows.

For a minute the sky pours into the hole like
a paperweight…

Ariel, staring from her hood of bone
she is used to this sort of thing.

Then…
In a pit of rock
curve of water upleaping
old barnacled umbilicus, atlantic cable
starless and fatherless, a dark water.
Red stigmata at the very centre,
like a sprat in a pickle jug:

The tongues of hell
keeping, it seems, in a state of miraculous repair
then the substanceless blue
the dew that flies

Riding the rip tide to the nearest point of departure
Into the terrible well itself.

PROSPERO: Nevertheless, nevertheless
The tinder cries…
Pitcher of mik, now empty…

And a naked mouth, red and awkward
fat and red, a placenta.

Into the red
touching and sucking…
pushing by like hearts…
dead hands, dead stringencies…
Thigh, hair…
Eyes rolled by white sticks…
Naked as paper, to start…

From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower,
remembering, even in sleep;
stasis in darkness;
pour of tor and distances;
cold homicides…

ARIEL: Christ! they are panes of ice…

PROSPERO: Empty? Empty. Here is a hand.

ARIEL: The earthen womb…

PROSPERO: Believe me, they’ll bury you in it.

Her bare
body wears the smile of accomplishment.

Published by

capuchin

Send your life out in multiple directions like a galaxy shedding stars. Always come back to hope and try to thrive. All posts, (poems, stories, essays, etc.) here are composed by my hand, unless noted otherwise. Please ask if you'd like to use one.

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