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For God While Sleeping

 Sleeping in fever, I am unfair
to know just who you are:
hung up like a pig on exhibit,
the delicate wrists,
the beard drooling blood and vinegar;
hooked to your own weight,
jolting toward death under your nameplate.
Everyone in this crowd needs a bath.
I am dressed in rags.
The mother wears blue.
You grind your teeth and with each new breath your jaws gape and your diaper sags.
I am not to blame for all this.
I do not know your name.
Skinny man, you are somebody's fault.
You ride on dark poles -- a wooden bird that a trader built for some fool who felt that he could make the flight.
Now you roll in your sleep, seasick on your own breathing, poor old convict.

by Anne Sexton
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