The survival-kit has gone to waste

There has been a flood
but everything that the child eats
seems to taste like snow
dripping like aloe sap.
Secrets can be earth-shattering.

Humanity is not meant
to keep secrets. Secrets can kill.
So their bodies flowed with the water and its carcass
Became two, and there is an obsession
That they carry with them to the grave

Hearing voices, even in spirit Assia steals.
There is potential in its metallic caress
But also nausea, paranoia, insanity.
My skin is a wall, a hellish ruin.
A home where I do not want to be

The child Shura cannot wail anymore.
She cannot be held in Assia Wevill’s arms anymore.
This happy ending is washed out.
They both met the wolves at the door.
Her last words must have been, ‘Beg.’

But then again she held
No more power over him.
Ted Hughes’s addictions will never die.
And in his poetry there are shades of sirens
But Shura and Assia are also there, ghosts.

Time was just pretend. People, women
Growing older around him
While Assia and Shura stayed forever young.
Tucked in a filthy grave made of earth
Both with their beautiful

Dark exotic hair and foreign air
But they are still in a homeless space.
Assia surfacing a grown up in a maze,
An experiment and in the end
She has won but where is her speech,

Her perspective, her poetry?
Everything cannot have been destroyed.
What would she say?
If she was still alive today.
Ted said, ‘Heal Assia.’ When he put

His hands on her body and wrote
Love poems, loose translations
Naming the abandonment of body parts.
Assia was both an adored survivor
But she loved to wear disguises.

And after all the were damages done
Hughes said, May all their souls rest in peace’.
Forgive me Saint Maybe.
What is there left to salvage
She wears a scarf around her neck

One of my own and now Shura is an
Eskimo pure through and through
I am less forgiving of you cheater
Our foreignness appears less so now
You can be more bold now indiscreet.

Now I live like a cloistered nun
Oh I much prefer it that way – that life
I was dying before but I never
Had the words for it or the strength
To say it when pain conquered everything.

No more cold and no more talking
No more waking and aloof indifference
No more stupid winter London sky
Unstable water, pathetic people sitting
On park benches feeding the ducks.

You’re as frozen as the earth
We’re covered in. Your atoms are
Merely biology, plenty scientific.
But here is where we say our goodbyes.
At the opening of the graves.

A kiss for a kingdom – just a taste.
But it is far too late for that. It’s salt.
Don’t ridicule me. Your behaviour
Has been far from exemplary. You see
In the end I was not so tough.

That list, my recipes keep them.
Hold onto them, save them for the keeper.
I’m not a complete hard-hearted fool.
Just wounded. I know you’ve been
About town and made no secret about it.

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