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On Safari

On Safari In The Serengeti With Her Husband Kayo, Anne Sexton Writes Letters To Her

On safari in the Serengeti with Kayo, Anne Sexton writes letters
to her therapist, with whom she is having an affair.
While Kayo hunts, she types in the Land Rover,
having come here for Kayo's sake, for the marriage's last great gift.
It's too terrible, heat, sweat, flies, death,
blood running in bucketfuls out of the car.
At night I eat the game I watch die slowly.

The doctor writes poems to her,
makes copies for her, the carbon paper imitation
a double you can also love. He's fallen into her wildness,
her wet summer madness, her tiger eye, tender machine,
all instinct and language stammering her body,
untying the cold, intensive heart,
that mystified, smoky-eyed, trance-heavy heart,
that heart that beats! Blood has to go somewhere.
Each morning on safari she and Kayo wake in an eyeless,
remarkable dark, so he can stalk one perfect impala,
reddish-brown like a summer tan, exquisite horns shaped in a lyre.
The female impala twitches like a question, and she wanders,
hungry, curious, widening each delighted eye.
Territory is a abstraction of grass shoots, of available water,
a mating dance of cocktails and thorazine.
On the portable typewriter, Anne's tan hands
spread out their fine bones in her amnesia of love,
while zebras move in and out of Kayo's gun sight,
tossing their pretty hair and cantering inked bodies,
their brief, incendiary hammers ringing angry and sublime.