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Cocktails with Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath

Bee Smith

Of course, we would meet in a bar,

dark as our wombs,

the banquettes lined in wine Marquette.


Three sexy Scorpios—one golden girl,

one sloe-eyed brunette and me

showing the ashes of middle age.


It would have to be August

in a limp Boston loosening

her corsets against vapidity


and the heat. We would meet

at this watering hole,

cackling over very dry martinis


or maybe a couple vodka stingers instead.

We would watch the spills on the bar

spread like Rorschach blots.


We would all cheerfully wear our

ovaries on our sleeves and make course

jokes about male poets and their pricks.


Flirting academically with the bartender

we would order more nostrums,

crazy women swivelling gaily on barstools.


You both would be happy.

You’d swear off crucifixion by art,

decide to survive, become grandmas,


grin and flash nicotine-stained teeth,

wear cliché purple hats and scarlet lipstick

living more potently than legend or myth.

From Magma no. 27, Autumn 2003