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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.
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.

Poem by Anne Sexton
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