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  • For My Lover, Returning To His Wife

    Anne Sexton

    On surfing around the net again I came across the blog of my favorite blogger and read this heartbreaking entry and yes it is heartbreaking as heartshakingly honest as it is. thanks Frances ^_^


    In 1966, Sexton wrote this poem while she was hospitalized for injuries suffered from a terrible fall down the stairway of her house, on the night of her birthday.

    The poem is about the end of her love affair with her psychiatrist, Dr. Zweizung, who had devastated Sexton by ending the relationship when his wife discovered the love letters that Sexton and Zweizung had exchanged and had become enraged.

    In contrast to Sexton's other relationships, the pain inflicted by the end of this particular affair was intense and long lasting. As someone once commented, some wounds never heal, so we might as well just learn to live with the scars.


    For My Lover, Returning To His Wife
    by Anne Sexton

    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.