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Baby Picture Analysis

Author: poem of Anne Sexton Type: poem Views: 13

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It's in the heart of the grape

where that smile lies.

It's in the good-bye-bow in the hair

where that smile lies.

It's in the clerical collar of the dress

where that smile lies.

What smile?

The smile of my seventh year,

caught here in the painted photograph.

It's peeling now, age has got it,

a kind of cancer of the background

and also in the assorted features.

It's like a rotten flag

or a vegetable from the refrigerator,

pocked with mold.

I am aging without sound,

into darkness, darkness.


who are you?

I open the vein

and my blood rings like roller skates.

I open the mouth

and my teeth are an angry army.

I open the eyes

and they go sick like dogs

with what they have seen.

I open the hair

and it falls apart like dust balls.

I open the dress

and I see a child bent on a toilet seat.

I crouch there, sitting dumbly

pushing the enemas out like ice cream,

letting the whole brown world

turn into sweets.


who are you?

Merely a kid keeping alive.


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