Anne Sexton

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

The Stand-Ins


In the dream
the swastika is neon
and flashes like a strobe light
into my eyes, all colors,
all vibrations
and I see the killer in him
and he turns on an oven,
an oven, an oven, an oven,
and on a pie plate he sticks
in my Yellow Star
and then
then when it is ready for serving—
this dream goes off into the wings
and on stage The Cross appears,
with Jesus sticking to it
and He is breathing
and breathing
and He is breathing
and breathing
and then He speaks,
a kind of whisper,
and says . . .
This is the start.
This is the end.
This is a light.
This is a start.
I woke.
I did not know the hour,
an hour of night like thick scum
but I considered the dreams,
the two: Swastika, Crucifix,
and said: Oh well,
it doesn't belong to me,
if a cigar can be a cigar
then a dream can be a dream.
Right?
Right?
And went back to sleep
and another start.

Submitted: Monday, March 29, 2010

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