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Live

Written by: Anne Sexton | Biography
 | Quotes (127) |
 Live or die, but don't poison everything.
.
.
Well, death's been here for a long time -- it has a hell of a lot to do with hell and suspicion of the eye and the religious objects and how I mourned them when they were made obscene by my dwarf-heart's doodle.
The chief ingredient is mutilation.
And mud, day after day, mud like a ritual, and the baby on the platter, cooked but still human, cooked also with little maggots, sewn onto it maybe by somebody's mother, the damn bitch! Even so, I kept right on going on, a sort of human statement, lugging myself as if I were a sawed-off body in the trunk, the steamer trunk.
This became perjury of the soul.
It became an outright lie and even though I dressed the body it was still naked, still killed.
It was caught in the first place at birth, like a fish.
But I play it, dressed it up, dressed it up like somebody's doll.
Is life something you play? And all the time wanting to get rid of it? And further, everyone yelling at you to shut up.
And no wonder! People don't like to be told that you're sick and then be forced to watch you come down with the hammer.
Today life opened inside me like an egg and there inside after considerable digging I found the answer.
What a bargain! There was the sun, her yolk moving feverishly, tumbling her prize -- and you realize she does this daily! I'd known she was a purifier but I hadn't thought she was solid, hadn't known she was an answer.
God! It's a dream, lovers sprouting in the yard like celery stalks and better, a husband straight as a redwood, two daughters, two sea urchings, picking roses off my hackles.
If I'm on fire they dance around it and cook marshmallows.
And if I'm ice they simply skate on me in little ballet costumes.
Here, all along, thinking I was a killer, anointing myself daily with my little poisons.
But no.
I'm an empress.
I wear an apron.
My typewriter writes.
It didn't break the way it warned.
Even crazy, I'm as nice as a chocolate bar.
Even with the witches' gymnastics they trust my incalculable city, my corruptible bed.
O dearest three, I make a soft reply.
The witch comes on and you paint her pink.
I come with kisses in my hood and the sun, the smart one, rolling in my arms.
So I say Live and turn my shadow three times round to feed our puppies as they come, the eight Dalmatians we didn't drown, despite the warnings: The abort! The destroy! Despite the pails of water that waited, to drown them, to pull them down like stones, they came, each one headfirst, blowing bubbles the color of cataract-blue and fumbling for the tiny tits.
Just last week, eight Dalmatians, 3/4 of a lb.
, lined up like cord wood each like a birch tree.
I promise to love more if they come, because in spite of cruelty and the stuffed railroad cars for the ovens, I am not what I expected.
Not an Eichmann.
The poison just didn't take.
So I won't hang around in my hospital shift, repeating The Black Mass and all of it.
I say Live, Live because of the sun, the dream, the excitable gift.



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