Love me back—and if you can’t, then say so, and let me go with whatever peace I can salvage.
Assia Wevill, “Ted Hughes, March 1968,”
She did not sign the letter but, at the bottom of the page she drew a dying bird, with outspread wings,
looking like a woman who had jumped from a roof and was flattened on the ground.
Yehuda Koren & Eilat Negev, from A Lover of Unreason
I am loveless without you. I am loveless in beauty and breath; the midnight perfume of flowers—
blood on blood, with roses and more roses,
eating the red / heart, whole.
. . . A sweetness in your absence / remnants of romance; tulips and their terrors.
—Without you, love, my love,
a blood-longing remains.
. . .
I am flowerlike.
I am alone in my claret silks.
. . .
I dance myself rose-struck. I dance for hours, inside the suicidal-red,
with a kiss / my love-scar— my love, inside a locket.
And roses, the heart’s last gouts,
Catastrophic, arterial, doomed.
Ted Hughes, from Birthday Letters; “Red,”
for K. D.
A red rose, pressed with perfume of blood / love . . .
Roses that drip from my body to your body, my love, my love,
As deep as the dark—
your blood to my blood,
again, and again as blood-kisses.
I see the suicidal red—
and I see love.
Effy Winter is a writer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is the author of Flowers of the Flesh (2019) and Sylvia (2021). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Rust & Moth, Soft Cartel, The Charles River Journal, and elsewhere. Effy was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2018. She works for Witch Way Magazine and resides in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is presently writing her biography of Sylvia Plath.