dead ophelia society
I am a society of one, unless you count the flowers.
I watched myself as if through glass plucking the petals off of trinity lilies—
there are only three, and instead of
father, son and holy ghost
or even me, myself and I,
I counted them off,
slowly, listening for the pop
of weak limbs leaving their mortal coil
and breathed, evenly, their names as
First, Last and Always.
It is pointless to ask if he loves me or loves me not
because if you have to ask,
the answer is no.
My society of one is a society of used up petals.
We bloom in springtime— April is a nasty trick
to make us forget we exist in the midst of our own dying.
First kiss a sweet sixteen
last breath a fallen frond
always dust to dust,
the wreckage of one blossom
becomes food for the one who replaces her.
It is a veritable smorgasboard of decay,
The arms of flowers splayed on the ground,
like so many dust particles, ashes,
cast onto uncaring winds. They travel,
but never too far downriver.
That is for funerary processions and charnel posies.
The society is about to come to order.
As president of the Dead Ophelia Society, I don my
tiara of damask roses, trinity lilies;
cross my arms over my breasts, left and right.
first I breathe an underwater sigh of relief
last I breathe the water tasting of algae and lilypads
always I float the river to its destiny, like death, the ocean.
* * *
Plath cut her finger
and I, (never to be outdone) did too
but there was no epiphany,
just blood swooning down my wrist
despite my awkward attempts
to stem back the flow.
That small wound littered with strawberry seeds
a dull cold as I forced the blade through obstinately frozen berries
then my fingertip.
I waited for the rapture and instead
just felt clumsy, blood making me woozy in the head,
Is that a revelation or just a cut?
Allie Marini Batts came here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and she’s ALL out of bubblegum. She is an alumna of New College of Florida,meaning she can explain deconstructionism, but cannot perform simple math. Her work has appeared in over eighty literary magazines that her family hasn’t heard of. She lives in Tallahassee, because it has the best trees to climb, and conveniently, that’s where her husband lives, too. She is a research writer and is pursuing her MFA degree in Creative Writing through Antioch University Los Angeles….oh no! it’s getting away! To read more of her work and thoughts on “process,” visit http://www.kiddeternity.wordpress.com, or to read her book reviews and literary blogging, visit Bookshelf Bombshells at http://bookshelfbombshells.com.