(for Sylvia Plath)
Womanish he said. Sentimental.
Her sprigs of hearts and flowers
reduced to black mush and leaf mold.
A fetid swamp of romance
to be stomped on.
Desperate, others said.
Trying too hard. As if that were a sin.
Is it a sin? The heart’s an empty cup
held up. Fill me.
Womanish. As in sugar and spice
which she tried to drown him in.
But when she scribbled out all beauty
and replaced it with jackboots and daggers
she became the evil one.
Proving once and for all, that poison
bile beneath the painted crib, the sunshine smile
will rise like an oil spill
blinding and choking and killing all.