Baby Picture by Anne Sexton

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Anne Sexton
Anne Sexton
Baby Picture
by Anne Sexton
It is in the heart of the grape
where that smile lies.
It’s in the good-bye bow in the hair,
where that smile lies.
It’s in the clerical collar of the dress,
where that smile lies.
What smile?
The smile of my seventh year,
caught in this painted photograph.
It’s peeling now, age has got it,
a kind of cancer in the background.
It’s like a rotten flag,
or a vegetable in the refridgerator,
pocked with mold.
I am aging without sound,
into darkness, darkness.
Anne, who are you?
who are you?
I open the vein
and my blood rings like roller skates.
I open the mouth
and my teeth are like an angry army.
I open the eyes
and they are sick like dogs
with what they have seen.
I open the hair
and it falls apart like dust balls.
I open the dress
and see a child bent on a toilet seat.
I crouch there, sitting dumbly,
pushing the enemas out like ice cream,
letting the whole brown world,
turn into sweets.
who are you?
Merely a kid keeping alive.
——— ♥♥♥ ———
Anne Sexton (1928-1974) was an American poet known for intimate confessional style who won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1967 for her book “Live or Die”. She struggled with depression for most of her adult life and much of her life and sometime after her death was surrounded in controversy.
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