(for Anne Sexton)

She carried her love into a whole other house
leaving her splendid eye for detail
in the world.
Softer truths enfold her now,
out there
with the stars she devoured.
So, be kind to her.
She was the best.
Nobody bit into the darkness
as prettily as Anne.
Nobody mined the depths
as courageously,
to set down on the page
in her own blood,
open veins
judged inappropriate
by jealous academics.
She was the real deal,
the one who does not
relinquish her quest,
a craving for absence
that gnawed and whined.
Perhaps she felt its
velvet glove
already brushing
past her bones,
the witch’s invitation to a table
Come in
Lay down your burden
Lay down your burden
Leave your flesh at the door
This is a real party
what beckoned
what called
must have wafted
stronger than a blood rose,
promising marriage and peace,
a stepping down,
as she acquiesced
to ride
the slow carbon monoxide air

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