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The Fallen Angels

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Written by Anne Sexton

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 They come on to my clean
sheet of paper and leave a Rorschach blot.
They do not do this to be mean, they do it to give me a sign they want me, as Aubrey Beardsley once said, to shove it around till something comes.
Clumsy as I am, I do it.
For I am like them - both saved and lost, tumbling downward like Humpty Dumpty off the alphabet.
Each morning I push them off my bed and when they get in the salad rolling in it like a dog, I pick each one out just the way my daughter picks out the anchoives.
In May they dance on the jonquils, wearing out their toes, laughing like fish.
In November, the dread month, they suck the childhood out of the berries and turn them sour and inedible.
Yet they keep me company.
They wiggle up life.
They pass out their magic like Assorted Lifesavers.
They go with me to the dentist and protect me form the drill.
At the same time, they go to class with me and lie to my students.
O fallen angel, the companion within me, whisper something holy before you pinch me into the grave.


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