Anne Sexton

For God While Sleeping

Sleeping in fever, I am unfair 
to know just who you are: 
hung up like a pig on exhibit, 
the delicate wrists, 
the beard drooling blood and vinegar; 
hooked to your own weight, 
jolting toward death under your nameplate. 

Everyone in this crowd needs a bath. 
I am dressed in rags. 
The mother wears blue. 
You grind your teeth 
and with each new breath 
your jaws gape and your diaper sags. 
I am not to blame 
for all this. I do not know your name. 

Skinny man, you are somebody's fault. 
You ride on dark poles - 
a wooden bird that a trader built 
for some fool who felt 
that he could make the flight. Now you roll 
in your sleep, seasick 
on your own breathing, poor old convict.