Anne Sexton: Poems

You All Know the Story of the Other Woman

He puts his bones back on,
Turning the clock back an hour.
She knows flesh, that skin balloon,
the unbound limbs, the boards,
the roof, the removable roof.
She is his selection, part time.
You know the story too! Look,
when it is over he places her,
like a phone, back on the hook.

When a man enters woman

When man
enters woman
like the surf biting the shore
again and again,
and the woman opens her mouth in pleasure
and her teeth gleam
like the alphabet
Logos appears milking a star,
and the man
inside of woman
ties a knot
so that they will
never again be separate
and the woman
climbs into flower
and swallows its stem
and Logos appears
and unleashes their rivers.

This man,
this woman
with their double hunger,
have tried to reach through
the curtain of God
and briefly they have,
though God
in His perversity
unties the knot.

Buying the Whore

You are the roast beef I have purchased
and I stuff you with my very own onion.

You are a boat I have rented by the hour
and I steer you with my rage until you run aground.

You are a glass that I have paid to shatter
and I swallow the pieces down with my spit.

You are the grate I warm my trembling hands on,
searing the flesh until it’s nice and juicy.

You stink like my Mama under your bra
and I vomit into your hand like a jackpot
its cold hard quarters.

The Fierceness of Female

I am spinning,
I am spinning on the lips,
they remove my shadow,
my phantom from my past,
they invented a timetable of tongues,
that take up all my attention.
Wherein there is no room.
No bed.
The clock does not tick
except where it vibrates my 4000 pulses,
and where all was absent,
all is two,
touching like a choir of butterflies,
and like the ocean,
pushing toward land
and receding
and pushing
with a need that gallops
all over my skin,
yelling at the reefs.

I unknit.
Words fly out of place
and I, long into the desert,
drink and drink
and bow my head to that meadow
the breast, the melon in it,
and then the intoxicating flower of it.
Our hands that stroke each other
the nipples like baby starfish —
to make our lips sucking into lunatic rings
until they are bubbles,
our fingers naked as petals
and the world pulses on a swing.
I raise my pelvis to God
so that it may know the truth of how
flowers smash through the long winter.

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