Wednesday, February 6, 2019

I Must Get a New Bird and a New Immortality Box


Anne Sexton
So it has come to this –
insomnia at 3:15 A.M.,
the clock tolling its engine
like a frog following
a sundial yet having an electric
seizure at the quarter hour.
The business of words keeps me awake.
I am drinking cocoa,
the warm brown mama.
I would like a simple life
yet all night I am laying
poems away in a long box.
It is my immortality box,
my lay-away plan,
my coffin.
All night dark wings
flopping in my heart.
Each an ambition bird.
The bird wants to be dropped
from a high place like Tallahatchie Bridge.
He wants to light a kitchen match
and immolate himself.
He wants to fly into the hand of Michelangelo
and come out painted on a ceiling.
He wants to pierce the hornet’s nest
and come out with a long godhead.
He wants to take bread and wine
and bring forth a man happily floating in the Caribbean.
He wants to be pressed out like a key
so he can unlock the Magi.
He wants to take leave among strangers
passing out bits of his heart like hors d’oeuvres.
He wants to die changing his clothes
and bolt for the sun like a diamond.
He wants, I want.
Dear God, wouldn’t it be
good enough just to drink cocoa?
I must get a new bird
and a new immortality box.
There is folly enough inside this one.


  1. An old girlfriend used how much someone liked Anne Sexton's poetry as a litmus test of their character. The older I am, the more I understand the utility of such things.

    1. She changed poetry, and if people want to use *confessionalist* as a smear, effthem.

  2. Dear God, wouldn’t it be
    good enough just to drink cocoa?

    my life is so boring and i like it that way

    this comment got 72 likes, 3 replies in agreement