Assia Wevill

A Tiger Lily

“A tiger lily—
almost a lotus”
—Ted Hughes,
“Systole Diastole,”

My heart—was the difficulty
The child—the god-head
Of my body—Sylvia lioness
Of noon—sucking me dry
With her lockjaw grip—drinking
Blood as deep—as my heart
Could pump it—pump it

Finally—I kicked free
Wrenching myself—away
From her bruising lips—panicky
Heart—my blood couldn’t
Glut or appease—her sucking grip
Anymore—Sylvia drank blood
But thirsted—for my soul

Every gulp—of my life-blood
She tasted—a teardrop of my
Dying spirit—weakening me
Pleas for air—I couldn’t breathe
Her jaws—so cold & determined
Goddess spirit—no man could
Resist—her ravenous needs

So I ripped free—hid my heart
Inside the belly—of a flower
Where pollen—could repair me
It was—desperate magic but
I tried it—soaking my deceived
Heart—the torn god of me
In the nectar—of an orchid lotus

A tiger lily—lovely lotus
Assia coming to me—out of the blue
But Sylvia—crying lioness
Found me hiding—dying of thirst
She tore the flower—with her
Ghostly fangs—got my heart
Back again—into her lair

Gnawing it—licking my heart
Guarding it—draining me dry
Even after Sylvia—was dead
Sewing the seeds—of a thousand
Gorgon’s teeth—her devotees
Coming back—to haunt me
Ariel vampires—on the make

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WTF. This is definitely NOT Systole Diastole, or at least the orginal poem in "Capriccio" anways... What cyst pool did this abomination crawl out of?