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Annie Easily Unraveled

Pages rubbed away from my past,
a deft yearning to pick the correct thrust . . .
it matters greatly that I assume
a proper elegance, because any lie 
can be acceptable if delivered with 
a respectable decorum.

And pages have always swirled down 
the pathways of my life;  I now
understand the only control that I have
is to sort the past the way I want it to be -
those multicolored leaves meant to decorate
the various trails through history.

How does one construct an argument
uttered so precisely it will scream down 
the annals of correct acts by human beings?
This remains my obsession, perhaps my undoing,
as women like me can be easily unraveled
by the pheromone desire to survive into other centuries.

So if words can be slingshotted like tiny satellites
far into the future, carrying some cryptic pictogram
of the true intentions of the human race -
all our millions of desires simplified into a few 
respectable drawings on newly discovered metal alloys . . .
if words can truly do this for me, than it is worth any effort
to elegantly pick through all these pages
and try to place some distinct order
on what I would like to see remembered
in the streaming with all the other aspirants.
I suspect my ledger still balances favorably,
regardless of my current understanding.

Anne Sexton (1928-1974), was an American poet known for her unadulterated chronicling of intimate and socially taboo subjects. She won the Pulitzer in 1967 for "Love or Die," and gave her answer to that title in 1974 with her death by her own hand. She once wrote of frequent drinking dates at the Ritz with Sylvia Plath: "Often, very often, Sylvia and I would talk at length about our first suicides; at length, in detail, and in depth between the free potato chips. Suicide is, after all, the opposite of a poem."

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