Wuthering Heights

Posted on 07/11/2011

The horizons ring me like faggots,

Tilted and disparate, and always unstable.

Touched by a match, they might warm me,

And their fine lines singe


The air to orange

Before the distances they pin evaporate,

Weighting the pale sky with a soldier color.

But they only dissolve and dissolve


Like a series of promises, as I step forward.

There is no life higher than the grasstops

Or the hearts of sheep, and the wind

Pours by like destiny, bending


Everything in one direction.

I can feel it trying

To funnel my heat away.

If I pay the roots of the heather


Too close attention, they will invite me

To whiten my bones among them.

The sheep know where they are,

Browsing in their dirty wool-clouds,


Gray as the weather.

The black slots of their pupils take me in.

It is like being mailed into space,

A thin, silly message.


They stand about in grandmotherly disguise,

All wig curls and yellow teeth

And hard, marbly baas.

I come to wheel ruts, and water


Limpid as the solitudes

That flee through my fingers.

Hollow doorsteps go from grass to grass;

Lintel and sill have unhinged themselves.


Of people and the air only

Remembers a few odd syllables.

It rehearses them moaningly:

Black stone, black stone.


The sky leans on me, me, the one upright

Among all horizontals.

The grass is beating its head distractedly.

It is too delicate


For a life in such company;

Darkness terrifies it.

Now, in valleys narrow

And black as purses, the house lights

Gleam like small change.


– Sylvia Plath


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