For My Lover, Returning To His Wife Poem by Anne Sexton

For My Lover, Returning To His Wife

Rating: 3.2

She is all there.
She was melted carefully down for you
and cast up from your childhood,
cast up from your one hundred favorite aggies.
She has always been there, my darling.
She is, in fact, exquisite.
Fireworks in the dull middle of February
and as real as a cast-iron pot.
Let's face it, I have been momentary.
vA luxury. A bright red sloop in the harbor.
My hair rising like smoke from the car window.
Littleneck clams out of season.
She is more than that. She is your have to have,
has grown you your practical your tropical growth.
This is not an experiment. She is all harmony.
She sees to oars and oarlocks for the dinghy,
has placed wild flowers at the window at breakfast,
sat by the potter's wheel at midday,
set forth three children under the moon,
three cherubs drawn by Michelangelo,
done this with her legs spread out
in the terrible months in the chapel.
If you glance up, the children are there
like delicate balloons resting on the ceiling.
She has also carried each one down the hall
after supper, their heads privately bent,
two legs protesting, person to person,
her face flushed with a song and their little sleep.
I give you back your heart.
I give you permission -
for the fuse inside her, throbbing
angrily in the dirt, for the bitch in her
and the burying of her wound -
for the burying of her small red wound alive -
for the pale flickering flare under her ribs,
for the drunken sailor who waits in her left pulse,
for the mother's knee, for the stocking,
for the garter belt, for the call -
the curious call
when you will burrow in arms and breasts
and tug at the orange ribbon in her hair
and answer the call, the curious call.
She is so naked and singular
She is the sum of yourself and your dream.
Climb her like a monument, step after step.
She is solid.
As for me, I am a watercolor.
I wash off.

Susan 07 August 2018

I first read this poem in, I think, the New Yorker and it has haunted me ever since. Stunning and even heart-breaking imagery that has, apparently, burrowed itself into some place deep in me. Brings me to tears every time I read it......

2 2 Reply
C F 18 January 2019

One can feel the intensity of her helpless anger through out the poem - chilling!

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Poetrysucksass 16 May 2022

I hate poetry so much

1 3 Reply
Anil Kumar Panda 18 January 2019

'She is solid. As for me, I am a watercolor. I wash off. ' so nice. Sometimes it gives immense pain if you lost something valuable. Loved it. Thanks for sharing.10++++

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Edward Kofi Louis 18 January 2019

For the fuse inside her! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

0 1 Reply
Adrian Flett 18 January 2019

A poem of longing for something once had but now lost. 'Let's face it, I have been momentary'

0 1 Reply
Bernard F. Asuncion 18 January 2019

A touching poem by Anne Sexton...................

0 1 Reply
Anne Sexton

Anne Sexton

Newton, Massachusetts
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