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Waking Nightmare

Sylvia writes, “I have the choice,” And her words gut me like An overeager pubescent student With a scalpel and tweezers. I feel the same as she. I, too, Ricochet; I, too, document it In my journal and in verse. What can it mean that she who chews her pen While she writes poetry on a keyboard, Feels the same as she who is so loved And so dead? What can it mean that I Shrivel to hear that my words have already Been worded and my thoughts Have already been thought and my Feelings have already been felt? Sylvia, with her beautiful name and Her published books (And her suicide), Has plucked away some part Of my individuality. What can I Do to salvage myself? How can I say, “A piece of my soul Has been stolen!” when it was Her soul, first? I guess I didn’t start the fire. I guess that I never have, And this be my terror- That every flame that has ever Warmed me was not my own, That the stars in my sky (Dim and flickering though they be, and hidden by light pollution, anyway) Were someone else’s stars, first, That the words in my head Were never mine to begin with, That I live and breathe and love What has been lived and breathed and loved A thousand, a hundred thousand, A million times before On a million worlds, by a million People, that even this Strangled indignation, this anger Is not mine; these hands, these memories, These hangnails and icy toes, The name, though decidedly less beautiful than “Sylvia”... Must I share myself with the world? How small and insignificant I am. Even wondering about my smallness and insignificance Is small and insignificant, because Everyone has wondered it. Perhaps I am selfish, because I want it All for me, or perhaps I am exactly as Everyone else. Would it be a compliment or an insult To be precisely like Sylvia Plath? Would it be a compliment or an insult to be precisely like myself?

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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