Sleep (Audio)

7185127859_bdafe6086dMarie McCormick

I fall into the same black pit each night

Some call it sleep I call it death

I call it merciful, a reprieve found

At long last, a suicide that does not persist

That does not choke as a bitter rind


The heat ingests me

Starting with my heart

So as to hold the still beating flesh

Between its hollow venomless teeth

And spreading slowly to the extremities.

I lie there fetal on my right side sheltered

By the half moon of a wolfish grin

Eyes unlit but open beneath sealed lashes

I will remain there pale as the final dose of poison

Lungs fueling meditation, thoughts grazing

Palms and thighs, the proximity of sex

Pulse baring down on my spine

Breath stalking the curve of a wounded throat


I will wake as I departed only less fresh

The sun will be too bright for my inarticulate eyes

I will swear to her a day more worthy than the last

But we both know that such a day as I propose

Cannot exist in a world governed by gravity

I will fly off hungry and palatable

Until you, with your unerring aim pluck me

Unwittingly from a sentimental sky


Society why is it that you do not want me?

Is it because I refuse to wear the veil?

Is my face truly so indecent? So abhorrent?

The smile perhaps? Or is it the guttural frown?

Is it because I have no tag in my ear

That you may affix me swiftly to a herd?


I carry a mirror and two glass eyes

The eyes are for me

That I should not be misled by appearance

And the mirror that is for you

That you may see the futility of disguise

My frail bloodless sister with your pagan tears

And the wicker mouth that bows forward

As if a kiss fell between your lips and teeth

Or perhaps a dream wedged into the salivary glands?


Remember always that I loved you

The you that was reserved only for me

The you that crept sometimes under the fence

In full costume to the unmarked pastures beyond

Society swallowed you up in time

Left nothing but that ill-fitting pout

How I shall continue to love those lips

In your absence


I too am absent most days it seems

A false God constructing entire civilizations

Onto the pale measured planes of cocktail napkins

I live in words now, a poor betrayed widow,

I have no use for things

Each night I plunge into a naked darkness

Into the primordial consciousness

Of a rapacious incendiary

Alive in the wake of my newly laid grave

A death of all unnecessary application

A death of persona and pretension

A death of scarcity and scarification

A life more real that any in waking held


I was hoping to find a living poet with a similar style to Sylvia Plath if anyone has any suggestions I would be most grateful. I wrote this poem inspired by her work, I have been listening to audio recordings of her.

Audio Recording of me reading the above poem