English poetry

Poems in English

The Breast

The Breast

This is the key to it.
This is the key to everything.
Preciously.

I am worse than the gamekeeper’s children
Picking for dust and bread.
Here I am drumming up perfume.

Let me go down on your carpet,
Your straw mattress whatever’s at hand
Because the child in me is dying, dying.

It is not that I am cattle to be eaten.
It is not that I am some sort of street.
But your hands found me like an architect.

Jugful of milk! It was yours years ago
When I lived in the valley of my bones,
Bones dumb in the swamp. Little playthings.

A xylophone maybe with skin
Stretched over it awkwardly.
Only later did it become something real.

Later I measured my size against movie stars.
I didn’t measure up. Something between
My shoulders was there. But never enough.

Sure, there was a meadow,
But no yound men singing the truth.
Nothing to tell truth by.

Ignorant of men I lay next to my sisters
And rising out of the ashes I cried
My sex will be transfixed!

Now I am your mother, your daughter, your brand new thing a snail, a nest.
I am alive when your fingers are.

I wear silk the cover to uncover
Because silk is what I want you to think of.
But I dislike the cloth. It is too stern.

So tell me anything but track me like a climber
For here is the eye, here is the jewel,
Here is the excitement the nipple learns.

I am unbalanced but I am not mad with snow.
I am mad the way young girls are mad,
With an offering, an offering…

I burn the way money burns.



Poem The Breast - Anne Sexton