For God While Sleeping
Sleeping in fever, I am unfair
to know just who you are:
hung up like a pig on exhibit,
the delicate wrists,
the beard drooling blood and vinegar;
hooked to your own weight,
jolting toward death under your nameplate.
Everyone in this crowd needs a bath.
I am dressed in rags.
The mother wears blue.
You grind your teeth
and with each new breath
your jaws gape and your diaper sags.
I am not to blame
for all this. I do not know your name.
Skinny man, you are somebody's fault.
You ride on dark poles -
a wooden bird that a trader built
for some fool who felt
that he could make the flight. Now you roll
in your sleep, seasick
on your own breathing, poor old convict.
Anne Sexton's Other Poems
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