I Have Been There
This was written for a friend of mine who tried to delete herself from existence.
My response to her came from Sylvia Plath:
I know the bottom, she says. I know it with my great tap root;
It is what you fear.
I do not fear it: I have been there.
And then I wrote this for her. (But Plath was much better.)
I am cold.
I am quiet.
I am confused.
I am not very calm at the moment.
I’m entirely too exhausted, exasperated
to be anything other than exanimate.
You and me
are too similar to have this distance between us.
My heart is breaking
through the isolation,
the walls of the silence
inching higher and higher and higher.
The separation of your heart
is coming to ends in uneven edges
and crooked corners.
None of the cuts are clean.
The only constant are the trailing tears
in the quiet
And none of us can be very calm at the moment.
I’m an idiot
and so are you.
I do not want to temper my speech with grace.
Do you think you can understand that?
Do you think your God can?
I think it’s a fundamental…
I think it’s innate…
I think it’s human instinct…
this whole giving up thing.
And yet we’re not allowed to.
It’s boldly bellowed
from the selfish,
from the frightened,
from the “Divine.”
I am sick of wordiness
I do not want to fight.
I do not want to forgive.
I do not want to feel.
I miss sleep like the touch of a lover.
I want to fall into a dark seclusion
away from the cold,
the quiet and confusion.
I want it to be calm.
I want to sleep and not be woken
for the ten thousandth time.
I hate to be jarred.
And I wonder if you’ll ever stop shaking.
And I need to know if those criticisms of yours will ever wane away.
But we’re still not allowed to give up.
No. No. NO!
I can’t help but wonder if they know what it’s like to be cold,
to hear the loneliness of the great quiet,
to buckle under such confusion…
and to be told to calm down.
I don’t think so.
Because if they did,
they’d be scared shitless,
just like me.