Ghazal with reference to Sylvia Plathhttps://i1.wp.com/barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/5.-He-Used-to-Bathe-Here.jpg?fit=1920%2C1319&ssl=119201319Sneha Subramanian KantaSneha Subramanian Kantahttps://i2.wp.com/barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/6B08D29E-BDD5-4B80-8EED-ADF1940855F8-e1549339511848.jpeg?fit=96%2C96&ssl=1
A part of your body ached, the doctor pressed it. Said—fine
here, take these, Sylvia. But you replaced the pills with music. Fine.
You knew enough to be a woman, left a crescent moon in a lint
of red on the beer can. In a library, in noonday, I said I’m fine.
I raised my heels—found a hardback titled The Letters of Sylvia Plath.
The cover, a photograph of you in sophomore. Distant years appeared fine.
My mother passed a year before sophomore. I drank vacancy like liquor.
Tulips in spring were extra baggage. Dead nooks and crannies were fine.
A professor insisted I visit your old house in Devonshire. I spat a sea of whiff.
I recovered the sunset, swallowed it like a eulogy, like sperm. It tasted just fine.
Men pretended to be in cahoots, drunk, rode horses. I ran toward strawberry fields,
picked a few with bare hands. I made ghosts out of burnt muslin, black and fine.
You were made historical. I became anti-elegy—always a bride, in a snowed-in color.
For all our wisdom, you may have been a seashell, an orchid, two eyes, a faint hum. Fine.
Sneha Subramanian Kanta is a recipient of the Charles Wallace fellowship 2019 at the University of Stirling, Scotland. An awardee of the GREAT scholarship, she has earned a second postgraduate degree in literature from England. She is the author of Synecdoche (The Poetry Annals) and Prosopopoeia (Ghost City Press). She is the founding editor of Parentheses Journal and poetry reader for Palette Poetry and Tinderbox Poetry. She loves horses.