"Us" is the fifth and final song of David Conte's song cycle Sexton Songs. The cycle is for soprano and piano or chamber ensemble and sets the poetry of Anne Sexton.


The audio selection in the player to the right features Marnie Breckenridge, soprano, and Ensemble Parallele with Nicole Paiement, conductor. Used with the permission of the composer. To listen, please click on the track name itself.

by Anne Sexton

I was wrapped in black
\t\tfur and white fur and
\t\tyou undid me and then
\t\tyou placed me in gold light
\t\tand then you crowned me,
\t\twhile snow fell outside
\t\tthe door in diagonal darts.
\t\tWhile a ten-inch snow
\t\tcame down like stars
\t\tin small calcium fragments,\t
\t\twe were in our own bodies
\t\t(that room that will bury us)
\t\tand you were in my body\t
\t\t(that room that will outlive us)
\t\tand at first I rubbed your
\t\tfeet dry with a towel
\t\tbecause I was your slave
\t\tand then you called me princess.

\t\tOh then
\t\tI stood up in my gold skin
\t\tand I beat down the psalms
\t\tand I beat down the clothes
\t\tand you undid the bridle
\t\tand you undid the reins
\t\tand I undid the buttons,
\t\tthe bones, the confusions,
\t\tthe New England postcards,
\t\tthe January ten o'clock night,
\t\tand we rose up like wheat,
\t\tacre after acre of gold,
\t\tand we harvested,
\t\twe harvested.

Audio PLaylist