going mad


Dear Anne Sexton,

reading you at 4am is like rosary beads on a feverish tummy
I'm writing on graph paper
because I can't find anything else
except pages and pages of beauty
in which to reside
so I write my own
and summon your ghost

i can feel the dying in me collide with the sky
the hard wood against my spine
that bruises in grave lilies

is it true that a man has 3 great loves in his life?

his mother
with breasts like empty flasks
blinking sagely at the hiddenmost cupboards
of regret
regret is a fairytale cottage
with a stout wishing well
that sparkles in the summer sun
where she is still a girl
she sprinkles the beanstalk seeds in turned soul
attempting to grow a child
to keep her eyes
from falling out
she felt him torn from her
the day he became a man

a fawn eyed little girl
that's thin
and untouched by the moonlight
a ripe plum of a fairy
perhaps she will drown before he can explore her
salty wound
of a mouth
a mouth that will blossom always in youth
and loving him
he will never find a beauty like hers
faded in the radiance of the sun
preserved in salt and dreaming
for her,
is neverland

the death bride
whom I wish most to be
a thin veil of dragonfly wings and snowflakes
he will hold my hand
as life escapes me
i will listen to his grief with profound understanding
and a vague sense of contempt
i will reach for his hand from behind a blanket of stars
and call him to me
as the worms wriggle in me as fallen apples
sopping with neglect
i will be the calm and calamity
rising from my bed of sea flowers like a sea witch
to let you glimpse the ghostly white of my wrists
my neck
and more
i will shine like a siren of Olde
a cruel and selfish lighthouse
calling you home
and you will follow
because you think too much of me
because you need this cedar box
to dig out from beneath
and emerge
in a dripping heaven
you long to kiss my tiny peach rose bud again
to rot within my garden of secrets
as a kiss behind my knee
i am god
and you are mine
i will kiss your head
and give you wings

I think we are not so different, you and I.
Can I call you Anne?
when you sing of lonely starfish and blueberry cream mornings
fat and bloated with irish whiskey and lark songs
a triumphant Icarus
i bleed from your chest
your soul blooming watercolor reds onto your panties
i want to kiss your bare shoulder

i listen for the lines that connect me to you
not like star-crossed lovers
because we both know THE END
of those kinds of romances
but i want to stick my finger in that wormhole pie
of beauty in your cheek
to make your eyes less vacant
haunted and wandering
i would give you poetry that does not mourn
or watch from the window
for an inevitable rain
that will blur the chalk lines of your smile

i will bring you sunflowers
to bring the light into your den
a proud yellow
that will look pretty against your eyes
you have the milky pink eyes of a Mildred
the sinking eyes of a god gone mad
your lips
colored in
like shivering red dahlia sunsets
blood horizons where we slept barefoot
and woke up

at least we have someplace to dream
pickled formaldehyde pretties that we are,
white bats suckled on cactus flowers and our own blindness,
the opium becomes us
it is tickling our bandaged wings
we dance and drink gin
stroll with the moon on our backs
we part like a smile
with a smile
with a heart full of poems that will never be writ

perhaps it is foolish of me to be angry with you
for taking your life
long before I had a chance to become
a fertile rose tickling your hipbones
soft and awakening
those eyes turning grey with slush and exhaust
before we could be intimate pen pals
on magnolia stationary
or heavy cream parchment
tear stained pages
slitting our wrists with ophelia
having a reason to wake up tomorrow
to search the world
for hope
and steal it
that it may glow like a firefly in a shuttered candlebox
lull us to sleep
No one writes letters anymore

i think all women like us need to feel free
we need to be reminded
how to be alive
to be shaken violently
and once the snow globe settles
to be kissed under the stars
a confessional
the kind of love making that makes you know you're beautiful
and needed
the heart, it screams
dip your toes into the silver of me
won't you love me
become me
an answer
to the prayer in my soul?

i know people before me
before i was born
ate your sorrow
like apples dipped in witch's brew
the strange opaque alchemy of chrysanthemums and witch hazel,
snowdrops and elephant ears
you sold their emptiness back to them
for the price of words
of your soul
a daisy pressed paper thin
two for a penny princes stuffed their faces with you
fat globes for eyes

perhaps we are sisters
and i will lift your chin
like a drooping bough, give you more
than water to vomit
maybe i will write of us in an eternal spring
instead of the last pink blossoms
of a winter eaten tree
we will be field mice
white petticoats showing
our hair dancing naked in the dandelion weeds
we will only have princes of our choosing
and even then
we'll call only
when we're feeling
quite cruel and useless
bored with paradise
because the clouds aren't exactly like an oil painting
where chubby angels lay
their lips like hearts
like Oscar Wilde's
God used to make mouths for kissing
he don't anymore
the angels come from factories
the angels are sad

i feel sore with loving you so completely
even your death

your torn sails flying without you
you are laughing with a belly of fire
pale yellow moths have become your hair
the flowers are dying
the bells are tinkling
and the ribbons
are cut

I am so sorry, but
nothing will ever be the same again
nothing will ever be the same again
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