What is this, behind this veil, is it ugly, is it beautiful?
It is shimmering, has it breasts, has it edges?
I am sure it is unique, I am sure it is what I want.
When I am quiet at my cooking I feel it looking, I feel it thinking
I do not want much of a present, anyway, this year.
After all I am alive only by accident.
It must be a tusk there, a ghost column.
Can you not see I do not mind what it is?
Can you not give it to me?
Do not be ashamed--I do not mind if it is small.
Do not be mean, I am ready for enormity.
I know why you will not give it to me,
You are terrified
Is it impossible for you to let something go and have it go whole?
Must you stamp each piece purple,
Must you kill what you can?
There is one thing I want today, and only you can give it to me.
Where split lives congeal and stiffen to history.
Let it not come by the mail, finger by finger.
Let it not come by word of mouth, I should be sixty
By the time the whole of it was delivered, and to numb to use it.
Only let down the veil, the veil, the veil.
If it were death
I would admire the deep gravity of it, its timeless eyes.
I would know you were serious.
Pure and clean as the cry of a baby,
And the universe slide from my side.
[a birthday present, plath]