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.
To learn more about Brenda Shaughnessy, visit her website by clicking here.
This poem comes from Human Dark with Sugar. Click here to purchase.
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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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