Drift by Brenda Shaughnessy
I’ll go anywhere to leave you but come with me. All the cities are like you anyway. Windows darken when I get close enough to see. Any place we want to stay’s polluted, the good spots taken already by those who ruin them. And restaurants we’d never find. We’d rut a ditch by a river in nights so long they must be cut by the many pairs of wrong-handled scissors maybe god owns and doesn’t share. I water god. I make a haunted lake and rinse and rinse. I take what I want, and have ever since what I want disappeared, like anything hunted. That’s what you said. Disappointment isn’t tender, dried and wide instead. The tourists snapped you crying, and the blanket I brought was so dirty it must have been lying around in lice and blood that whole year we fought. It wasn’t clear, so I forgot. I haven’t been sleeping, next to you twitching to bury my boring eyes. The ship made you sad, and the ferry, and canoe. All boats do.
We could not find a recording of her reading this poem, but below is a 2013 video of Shaughnessy reading from her collection “Our Andromeda” as part of the 24th annual Chicago Humanities Festival.
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