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After Sylvia

After Sylvia
Iona Mandal

At St. Thomas A. Beckett Churchyard,

Here I lie.
On the open heart of Jesus.
He is eutrophic to this bag of bones.
Stealing the light of a thousand moons,
so, I never cross the water.
Sunny Boston girl,
slipped under the gallows.
The grave ate me in two.
Its cold weight on my spidered ribs
like Atlas carrying the globe.
Hangman hands in dark
touch my stony brow,
the moon having left
her lofty ledge
to acquaint with my lichened visage.
The Pennine dales engulf me,
wholly, holily.
Limestone coffin sets
my cadaver in stone,
I remain captive, of his mossed land.
Defaced, removed, tormented,
amongst cut flowers, modest wreaths
shrubs, pens, candles,
crows and magpies
hovering above.
This land speaks my poetry
in crisp tongues of the Queen,
rhoticity unadorned.
I came here because
I was the moth.
The moth who transgressed
to the bulb of belief,
I was deciduous,
that my diseased wings
would renew from frailty.
Even heaven’s jailor knows me stealing,
the lull of a bee’s flight,
swallowing the buzz of a thousand apian slayers.
Stripped of all dreams,
I rest as a bee, dying from its own sting.