Anne Sexton

Anna who was mad

Anna who was mad, 
I have a knife in my armpit.
When I stand on tiptoe I tap out messages.
Am I some sort of infection? 
Did I make you go insane? 
Did I make the sounds go sour? 
Did I tell you to climb out the window? 
Forgive. Forgive.
Say not I did.
Say not.

Speak Mary-words into our pillow.
Take me the gangling twelve-year-old
into your sunken lap.
Whisper like a buttercup.
Eat me. Eat me up like cream pudding.
Take me in.
Take me.

Give me a report on the condition of my soul.
Give me a complete statement of my actions.
Hand me a jack-in-the-pulpit and let me listen in.
Put me in the stirrups and bring a tour group through.
Number my sins on the grocery list and let me buy.
Did I make you go insane? 
Did I turn up your earphone and let a siren drive through? 
Did I open the door for the mustached psychiatrist
who dragged you out like a gold cart? 
Did I make you go insane? 
From the grave write me, Anna! 
You are nothing but ashes but nevertheless
pick up the Parker Pen I gave you.
Write me.