Son of Ariel

Son of Ariel

“You reveled in red
But the jewel you lost was blue.”
—Ted Hughes, “Red,”
Birthday Letters

I found Mommy dead—
Her head stuck in the oven.

I pulled Mommy out—
But her pretty face was blue.

I wept in Yeats’ kitchen—
But orphaned boys never cry.

I looked into Mommy’s eyes—
Her lips pursed like a kiss.

Red was her favorite color—
But she ended up blue.

Red carmine on the carpet—
Red-ochre on the linoleum floor.

Blood oozed from her nose—
Bruised roses, writhing snakes.

Her mind livid burgundy—
Even now it revels in ruby-red.

Open veins in the bathtub—
Her wrists would’ve been next.

Her tiny fingers always busy—
Her Schaeffer pen the evil key.

I have my father Ted to thank—
Kingfisher blue eyes are mine.

I’m the Bluebeard Boy of morning—
Her ruby corduroy blood is mine.

I am the Son of Ariel—
My dead mother was a goddess.

My fingers are her fingers—
All ten of them cat-like & nervous.

My mind is her mind—
Old labyrinths open up to us.

We slink thru texts like snakes—
Our poetry is zero to the bone.

The edge of things recedes—
The writerly life is a lonely one

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