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Anne Sexton

(9 November 1928 – 4 October 1974 / Newton, Massachusetts)

The Angel Food Dogs


Leaping, leaping, leaping,
down line by line,
growling at the cadavers,
filling the holy jugs with their piss,
falling into windows and mauling the parents,
but soft, kiss-soft,
and sobbing sobbing
into their awful dog dish.

No point? No twist for you
in my white tunnel?
Let me speak plainly,
let me whisper it from the podium-

Mother, may I use your pseudonym?
May I take the dove named Mary
and shove out Anne?
May I take my check book, my holographs,
my eight naked books,
and sign it Mary, Mary, Mary
full of grace?
I know my name is not offensive
but my feet hang in the noose.
I want to be white.
I want to be blue.
I want to be a bee digging into an onion heart,
as you did to me, dug and squatted
long after death and its fang.

Hail Mary, full of me,
Nibbling in the sitting room of my head.
Mary, Mary, virgin forever,
whore forever,
give me your name,
give me your mirror.
Boils fester in my soul,
so give me your name so I may kiss them,
and they will fly off,
nameless
but named,
and they will fly off like angel food dogs
with thee
and with thy spirit.
Let me climb the face of my kitchen dog
and fly off into my terrified years.

Submitted: Monday, March 29, 2010

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