She has, what we imagine is, peace
on her lips, sperm on her leg,
the river washing, baptising her,
lapping away all sinfulness.
Ophelia’s dreaming with too much
sunlight, too much lipstick on their faces:
every dead woman is a portrait of
stillness the robin sings to.
There is something not being said
in all of Ophelia’s dreaming, an oracle
unspoken, but talks in bubbles,
only the fish understand how Death
crafted her a thousand thousand times.
It wasn’t peace, wasn’t sperm, but the sting
of truth on her lips, truth leaking down her legs.
Bethany Rivers’ pamphlet, ‘Off the wall’, published by Indigo Dreams. Previous publications include: Envoi, Obsessed with Pipework, The Ofi Press, Picaroon, Bare Fiction, and Tears in the Fence. She mentors the writing of memoir, novels and poetry: www.writingyourvoice.org.uk