Let me please look into my window on 103rd Street
one more time—
without crying, without tearing the satin, without touching
the white face, without straightening the tie or crumpling
Let me walk up Broadway past Zaks, past the Melody
past Stein’s Eyes, past the New Moon Inn, past the Olympia.
Let me leave quietly by gate 29
and fall asleep as we pull away from the ramp
into the tunnel.
Let me wake up happy, let me know where I am,
let me lie still,
as we turn left, as we cross the water, as we leave the light.
—Gerald Stern, “Let Me Please Look Into My Window”
Photography Credit Gottfried HeInwein
for Sylvia Plath
O Sylvia, Sylvia,
with a dead box of stones and spoons,
with two children, two meteors
wandering loose in a tiny playroom,
with your mouth into the sheet,
into the roofbeam, into the dumb prayer,
where did you go
after you wrote me
Anne Sexton (Publicity photos circa 1961)
Wanting To Die written and read by Anne Sexton
Since you ask, most days I cannot remember.
I walk in my clothing, unmarked by that voyage.
Then the almost unnameable lust returns.
Even then I have nothing against life.
I know well the grass blades you mention,
the furniture you have placed under the sun.
But suicides have a special language.
Like carpenters they want to know which tools.
They never ask why build.
Twice I have so simply declared myself,
have possessed the enemy, eaten the enemy,
have taken on his craft, his magic.
In this way, heavy and thoughtful,
warmer than oil or water,
I have rested, drooling at the mouth-hole.
I did not think of my body at needle point.
Even the cornea and the leftover urine were gone.
Suicides have already betrayed the body.
Still-born, they don’t always die,
but dazzled, they can’t forget a drug so sweet
that even children would look on and smile.
To thrust all that life under your tongue!—
that, all by itself, becomes a passion.
Death’s a sad Bone; bruised, you’d say,
and yet she waits for me, year after year,
to so delicately undo an old wound,
to empty my breath from its bad prison.
Balanced there, suicides sometimes meet,
raging at the fruit, a pumped-up moon,
leaving the bread they mistook for a kiss,
leaving the page of the book carelessly open,
something unsaid, the phone off the hook
and the love, whatever it was, an infection.
I want to wipe off your face with my face
Drag my face across your body like a rag and wring you out onto the sheets