It happens. Will it go on? ---- My mind a rock, No fingers to grip, no tongue, My god the iron lung That loves me, pumps My two Dust bags in and out, Will not Let me relapse While the day outside glides by like ticker tape. The night brings violets, Tapestries of eyes, Lights, The soft anonymous Talkers: 'You all right?' The starched, inaccessible breast. Dead egg, I lie Whole On a whole world I cannot touch, At the white, tight Drum of my sleeping couch Photographs visit me- My wife, dead and flat, in 1920 furs, Mouth full of pearls, Two girls As flat as she, who whisper 'We're your daughters.' The still waters Wrap my lips, Eyes, nose and ears, A clear Cellophane I cannot crack. On my bare back I smile, a buddha, all Wants, desire Falling from me like rings Hugging their lights. The claw Of the magnolia, Drunk on its own scents, Asks nothing of life.
--Paralytic, Sylvia Plath