Sylvia Plath Observes her Wake by Emmanuelle Christie

I gnawed God down to the bone
I drank him down to dark eyes and laid
my aching jaw across his thighs.
this, cedar of Lebanon, deserved to be felled.
this sweetness turned bitter
like the seer’s scroll and sank beneath the Red Sea.
I saw you part the aisles of the supermarket.
I came to believe there was a God:
a mean bastard slinging clods of earth,
shaking the dust of the field from his cleats.
God wears rugby shorts: I bit him on the cheek.
God is an iron giant trotting to Heptonstall from Todmorden,
kicking stones. do you know,
they call the village death-death-wood;
yes, from the Germanic.
does it hurt
the way you thought it would?
or does it slide in your throat- cold, neat, on the rocks,
the pit in your stomach slick icebergs, syrup-sweet.
I walked on my knees from Midian to Neath, a pilgrim
destined for pills and sweet treats before the gas.
the piebald ponies glean like Ruth,
prostrate like pearls of the field, at the feet of Boaz.
I offer the bend of my back to his whip, growing weary.
I am tortured by his mad-man psalms, by
wicked static on every radio dial.
there are no scores left to keep.
only the body, bent, and broken-
the bones are posts on the rugby pitch, the last
wake of the primordial German princess, that bitch.
the body grows up in the garden, in time for harvest.
the mourners eat cream crackers and
American pie–you will be planted beneath a bleak and godless sky.

Emmanuelle Christie’s work has been featured in Acta Victoriana, Pedestal, Not Deer Magazine, On the Run, and other publications. They hold a degree in English literature, and a master’s degree in theology from the University of Toronto. In 2022 they were awarded an Explore and Create grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to complete their first novel. Their work focuses on the matrix between gender, divinity, and the uncanny.