Daily Archives: July 8, 2017

The Ambition Bird

Anne Sexton

The Ambition BirdSo it has come to this

insomnia at 3:15 A.M.,

the clock tolling its engine
like a frog following

a sundial yet having an electric

seizure at the quarter hour.
The business of words keeps me awake.

I am drinking cocoa,

that warm brown mama.
I would like a simple life

yet all night I am laying

poems away in a long box.
It is my immortality box,

my lay-away plan,

my coffin.
All night dark wings

flopping in my heart.

Each an ambition bird.
The bird wants to be dropped

from a high place like Tallahatchie Bridge.
He wants to light a kitchen match

and immolate himself.
He wants to fly into the hand of Michelangelo

anc dome out painted on a ceiling.
He wants to pierce the hornet’s nest

and come out with a long godhead.
He wants to take bread and wine

and bring forth a man happily floating in the Caribbean.

He wants to be pressed out like a key

so he can unlock the Magi.
He wants to take leave among strangers

passing out bits of his heart like hors d’oeuvres.
He wants to die changing his clothes

and bolt for the sun like a diamond.
He wants, I want.

Dear God, wouldn’t it be

good enough to just drink cocoa?
I must get a new bird

and a new immortality box.

There is folly enough inside this one.
We’ll be reading and discussing Anne Sexton’s poetry on July 27. See the SCHEDULE PAGE for a list of the featured poems.


Leave a comment

Filed under Poem