What is my purpose?
Is it to love Hamlet or to fulfil the duties of being a daughter
One-two, one-two, breathing as I grow
But what is the point of continuing
My heart is overburdened and the ache
The ache of those thousand obligations seems unbearable
Resting on the slightest edge
the heavyweight left me, alone to heal the permanent scars of my youth
The soft shell of my beating heart sheds
Forcing me back like the influx of the big tide
I was covered in glass
On the polished castle walls
Mirrors that could not reveal the reality
Petals like a kite string
Piercing through every bone, every muscle.
Yet one-two, one-two, I took a breath.
Turbulent, sinful, eerie,
All undermining for the life I live
Petals that felt like
Bullets deflecting my resilience, my power
Melting into anguish
One-two, breathe Ophelia
The air gets tighter
Who must I trust?
My brother who himself the primrose path of dalliance treads
And recks not his own rede.
Hamlet, I am convinced he loved me
Tell me, it wasn’t just an act of infatuation
Tell me, my purpose is to be a dutiful wife, a steadfast mother of a bright blue-eyed child
Yet, I am an eternal virgin, a weeping woman, a crazed Ophelia
Losing the only vessel of mortality, ever existed.
I am Ophelia,
The pinnacle of innocence
Exploited by the avarice and desires
Of my brother
Oh father, don’t read the letter,
The sole confirmation of my love
He begins, “Doubt Thou the stars are fire
Doubt that the sun doth move
Doubt the truth to be a liar
But never doubt I love”
Every syllable pronounced so consciously
Piercing through my closed airway
One-two, a distant echo, a soft pulse
I knew he loved me,
But I am just a
Send me to a nunnery, will you?
This dilemma forced me into the pit of madness
No way to reconcile my contradictory self
A flower for you
A flower for you
Have some hope will you
Oh, sweet Hamlet!
Oh Laertes, bring me back my father
How shall I fulfil my empty soul?
Must it be with mourning tears?
The rapids will drag you down just like they did
Onto the murky bed of unsanctified peace
I ponder my demise every day
Who, what and where
Did I transcend into this unfathomable darkness?
Where light doesn’t exist
And the night seems inescapable
My death was doubtful,
And, but that great command o’ersways the order,
I should in ground unsanctified been lodged
Till the last trumpet.
I did not flee to the riverside
with the intention of
Drowning myself, no–
it was merely a promise of bouquets–
daisies, violet, rosemary, rue–
of wild, velveteen petals nestled softly
against tear-stained cheekbones;
Soft petals that were ticklish beneath raw feet felt
Like pine needles piercing my delicate feet
and the train of my nightgown
a focal point for dewy leaves
and frayed bird feathers.
My legs simply dangling over the blustering currents
Drowning isn’t in the act of doing but in the act of letting go
I let go
Let go of Hamlet and him of his troubles
For so young and naive I was, I let go
One-two, one-two a faint breath
I float among the water lilies from now on.
Reference (for featured image)
Ophelia Alive No. 108 Painting. (2018). Saatchi Art. https://www.saatchiart.com/art/Painting-Ophelia-Alive-No-108/410719/2916567/view