Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Fury of Abandonment

Someone lives in a cave
eating his toes,
I know that much.
Someone little lives under a bush
pressing an empty Coca-Cola can against
his starving bloated stomach,
I know that much.
A monkey had his hands cut off
for a medical experiment
and his claws wept.
I know that much.

I know that it is all
a matter of hands.
Out of the mournful sweetness of touching
comes love
like breakfast.
Out of the many houses come the hands
before the abandonment of the city,
out of the bars and shops,
a thin file of ants.

I've been abandoned out here
under the dry stars
with no shoes, no belt
and I've called Rescue Inc. --
that old-fashioned hotline --
no voice.
Left to my own lips, touch them,
my own dumb eyes, touch them,
the progression of my parts, touch them,
my own nostrils, shoulders, breasts,
navel, stomach, mound, kneebone, ankle,
touch them.

It makes me laugh
to see a woman in this condition.
It makes me laugh for America and New York City
when your hands are cut off
and no one answers the phone.

-Anne Sexton

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