For Anne Sexton

Your mother takes a razor

to your chest

leans her weight on her elbows

on your sternum

your eyes close

against her smile

She handles it expertly

dodging its edges

as she slices your skin

thin red lines ignite her

and she goes deeper.

always deeper

you are not the girl who lived on the surface

that girl ****** every boy

because the girl

on the edge

the girl


was a monster

of need

of hands

gripping hands

open hands

shattered psyche

a life unknown

a life lived

a song.

You were the girl who married the man

who watched you

tiptoe into madness

who glanced over as you took a razor

to your daughter

who glanced over

as you ****** another

who forgot

your name

when you loved another.

Opened to it

you were

blood vessels

and alcohol

you were

writhing panic

and madness

and greed

and need.

A simple monster

a complex breakdown

they said you were dependent


they said you were brilliant.

You said

**** all of them

and you immortalized ************

you destroyed them with your pen.

You never knew

why the caged bird sang

you knew the song

you heard its calling

you tried to tip your hat

to its lullaby

you tried to define it

to illuminize it

you tried, Anne, you did

you took a needle to their skin

you unwrapped them

you rewired them

you disguised them.

Here I write in tribute

a simple gift of words

how I loved you

how i misread you

how I will never be you.
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May 19, 2012