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Sep 2018
VI. I, Ophelia
___________________

­{The Drowning}

It was her--
Flower Child.
Weeping Woman.
Crazed Ophelia--
who taught me that the
drowning is in the letting go
and not in the doing.

Ophelia did not flee to the riverside
with the intention of
drowning herself, no--
it was merely a promise of bouquets--
daisies, violet, rosemary,  rue--
of wild, velveteen petals nestled softly
against tear-stained cheekbones;
pine needles--
ticklish--
beneath raw feet
(do you recall how The Little Mermaid
danced upon knives
in the name of true love?);
and the train of her nightgown
a focal point for dewy leaves
and frayed bird feathers.

For it was flying she thought of
as she climbed the scarred willow
and cradled herself atop its highest bough,
severed blossoms in hand,
legs dangling precariously over
blustering currents.

But
when the bough
b r o k e ,
the cradle did   f
                              a
                               ­   l
                                      l,
and down came
mad girl
cradle and all.

But you must understand--
the dismemberment of the
willow's flailing limbs
was not her doing;
when the rapids dragged her down
to the belly of the murky river bed,
she merely gave no struggle
as death lapped at her ribs--
she merely submitted,
allowed the snivelling maw of the river
to swallow her whole.

Now,
I think it suiting
that I ponder the demise of the
Flower Child
(wilted in her ruin);
Weeping Woman
(tears reunited
with the eye of
the water lily);
Crazed Ophelia
(forgotten)
and all she has taught me
of drowning
as I let myself
fall asleep in the bathtub
at three o clock in the morning,
all the while a little drunk
and so very sad.
(You'd might have even thought
I wanted to drown myself. )
__________________
{Th­e Resurrection}

Doused in the pallid wash
of blue stage light,
and the clamour
of imaginary tides
growling in my ears,
I metamorphosize into
Hamlet's Ophelia
and all the other Ophelias
who came before me--
mad.
broken.
lost.
women.

Women who were never
capable of quieting
the sea trembling
in their veins;
the barbaric deluge festering
within their souls;
the siren songs
musing to the cavernous twists
of their hearts,
piercing through artery
with stalagmite precision.

These women succumbed,  
not to the water,
but to the burden of their own
desire.
love.
heartbreak.

None of them survived.

Except for me,
of course.

And, I must admit,
it took my
writing this poem
to finally understand
why that is--
why--
how--
I have managed
to stay alive,
despite dreaming of that
same siren song
that lured my foremothers
to their destructions.

See,
alone,
Ophelia could not weather  
the tempest seething over her.

But I different--
I am not alone.

Because I carry with me the spirits
of all the Ophelias
who came before me,
the fragments of their beings
melding together to create
a brilliant gossamer of hope.

And that is why,
together,
we can breathe underwater.
____________________
{­Blackout}

Ophelia Bows,
her performance immortalized
through the remembrance
of a standing ovation.
Don't be a stranger--check out my blog!

jadefbartlett.wixsite.com/tickledpurple

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Jade Bartlett
Written by
Jade Bartlett  18/F/Canada
(18/F/Canada)   
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         yasaman johari, n, Bill Mykhillz, Perry, Sky and 7 others
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