Anne Sexton (November 9, 1928 – October 4, 1974)
I have heard of fish
coming up for the sun,
who stayed forever
shoulder to shoulder—
avenues of fish that never got back,
all their proud spots and solitudes
sucked out of them.
I think of flies
who come from their foul caves
out into the arena.
They are transparent at first.
Then they are blue with copper wings.
They glitter on the foreheads of men.
Neither bird nor acrobat,
they will dry out like small black shoes.
I am an identical being.
Diseased by the cold and the smell of the house,
I undress under the infinite bulk.
My skin flattens out like sea water.
O yellow eye,
let me be sick with your heat,
let me be feverish and frowning.
Now I am utterly given.
I am your daughter, your sweetmeat,
your priest, your mouth, and your bird,
and I will tell them all stories of you
until I am laid away forever,
a thin gray banner.