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The Big Boots Of Pain

 There can be certain potions 
needled in the clock 
for the body's fall from grace, 
to untorture and to plead for.
These I have known and would sell all my furniture and books and assorted goods to avoid, and more, more.
But the other pain I would sell my life to avoid the pain that begins in the crib with its bars or perhaps with your first breath when the planets drill your future into you for better of worse as you marry life and the love that gets doled out or doesn't.
I find now, swallowing one teaspoon of pain, that it drops downward to the past where it mixes with last year's cupful and downward into a decade's quart and downward into a lifetime's ocean.
I alternate treading water and deadman's float.
The teaspoon ought to be hearable if it didn't mix into the reruns and thus enlarge into what it is not, a sea pest's sting turning promptly into the shark's neat biting off of a leg because the soul wears a magnifying glass.
Kicking the heart with pain's big boots running up and down the intestines like a motorcycle racer.
Yet one does get out of bed and start over, plunge into the day and put on a hopeful look and does not allow fear to build a wall between you and an old friend or a new friend and reach out your hand, shutting down the thought that an axe may cut it off unexpectedly.
One learns not to blab about all this except to yourself or the typewriter keys who tell no one until they get brave and crawl off onto the printed page.
I'm getting bored with it, I tell the typewriter, this constantly walking around in wet shoes and then, surprise! Somehow DECEASED keeps getting stamped in red over the word HOPE.
And I who keep falling thankfully into each new pillow of belief, finding my Mercy Street, kissing it and tenderly gift-wrapping my love, am beginning to wonder just what the planets had in mind on November 9th, 1928.
The pillows are ripped away, the hand guillotined, dog shit thrown into the middle of a laugh, a hornets' nest building into the hi-fi speaker and leaving me in silence, where, without music, I become a cracked orphan.
Well, one gets out of bed and the planets don't always hiss or muck up the day, each day.
As for the pain and its multiplying teaspoon, perhaps it is a medicine that will cure the soul of its greed for love next Thursday.

Poem by Anne Sexton
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