Cute As by Karen Poppy

Cute As

Oh! Boots! I’m—your Princess Anne—(as you call me) who only wants to be your button […]

— Letter from Anne Sexton to her husband, Alfred Sexton, Venice, Italy, September 27, 1963

I am as cute as volcanic flames,
Each leap symbolic—muscled
Flanks lather and foam, fire
Jumping fire, my darling.

Sweated out, head tossing.
Beaded button thirsty, feisty.
Swollen red by your words,
I love you more than I love

This shifting dream in flight,
Crackling and opening,
Lifting and welcoming—
Yes, and galloping, galloping

Galloping home to you.


A non-binary poet, Karen Poppy’s debut full-length poetry collection, Diving at the Lip of the Water, is published by Beltway Editions (2023). An attorney licensed in California and Texas, Karen Poppy lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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