After Plath’s “Lady Lazarus”
Ladies and gentlemen, please.
Thank you, thank you—yes, the magic
tonight was real.
The trick, this time, is mine. No magician
can saw me in half—without bunny or top hat
or spell cast, I have simply vanished.
Call me the first woman to be
without a body. Its corrupt government is gone,
dissolved. Oh, silly body—it lacked claws,
it wasn’t fast, so I traded skeletal mass,
my tits, my ass. I gave way to galaxy—
to gas, dust, dark particle. I traded the heresy
of flesh for solar power. The thrill
of hallowed alchemy. I am careless as comets. I am as
small, as large as a fistful of stars. Hydrogen and helium—
oh! I am happy nothing,
like the black hole that is something. I am mindless as
lunar light. Unafraid of night. Ladies and gentlemen,
please. I see you are amazed. I am the first person
to shed the liability of my anatomy.
I am sky-sprawled—ruled only by the crux
of purple dawn / iridescent night. Undictated
by the liquid currency of bodies, I span milky miles,
bleeding only darkness. Surely you are surprised
that no one can mishold me, to say
nothing of groping. I’ve said goodbye
to the most feckless of forms—the human hull.
Ladies and gentlemen, you have not been deceived.
I am manned only by atoms. I am thin as a strand
of dust, the naked eye cannot see me. No,
don’t outstretch your hand—it cannot feel me.
Melanie Power is a Montreal-based writer from St. John's. Her poetry has been published in The Malahat Review, Grain, Room, and elsewhere. Other work has been longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize and shortlisted in Arc Magazine's Poem of the Year Contest. www.melaniedpower.com