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Alessandra Bava

Love Letter to Anne Sexton #1

Your dreamlike, haunting figure comes
winding my way at nighttime. You
hold a flickering candle, as the
Priestess of No Hope seeking her lost
faith, stitching red words in the air.

I follow your glowworm trail. You drag
yourself from room to room – a cap
of thistle and moths pulled over your
eyes. You have long been blind,
but I cannot elude the crisp azure

glint sparkling in your cavities.
You wear a bridal dress swathed
around your bony arms. I lift your
long wake, carry it in my hands as
a talisman, a parched manuscript –

I don’t want you to stumble anymore.
You turn around, shake your dark
mane, storm down on me like
the avenging angel and cry:
“Love – I’ve come to reclaim you!”

Love Letter to Anne Sexton #9

“Happy Birthday, Anne,” I say.
You shake your head, your dark
hair falls all across your body as
in that painting of Magdalene, the

“Did you bring me flowers?” you
ask. I hand you a red rose covered
in rain, each thorn a lesson of
piercing love. More arrows cover
your body.

The sky is all dappled with desire.
Your wounded nakedness stirs the
stars. Our horoscopes tell how
fiercely we love – planets don’t lie.
I run my

tongue over your lips to seize new
words. My throat has an upholstered
constellation of slings for weapons
now. The gift is all

Love Letter to Anne Sexton #14

“Every piece of me is dying,” you say.
I cry out: “Resuscitate!”
You look at me with glossy eyes,
I watch words float in that azureness,
I study ways of salvaging them.
You answer as Cleodegaria in Cuarón’s
Roma: “I can’t. I’m dead.”
I lie close to you, my head against yours.
These death games tire me.
The birds in our heads flutter against
the cage of our hopes.
I feel splenic today. I’ll take a rifle,
riddle my hopes one by one, then flay
them and wear their skins like a crown.

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