Drift

By Brenda Shaughnessy b. 1970 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.

Brenda Shaughnessy, "Drift" from Human Dark with Sugar. Copyright © 2008 by Brenda Shaughnessy.  Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press. www.coppercanyonpress.org

Source: Human Dark with Sugar (Copper Canyon Press, 2008)

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Poet Brenda Shaughnessy b. 1970

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Disappointment & Failure, Humor & Satire, Love, Marriage & Companionship, Relationships, Time & Brevity, Break-ups & Vexed Love

 Brenda  Shaughnessy

Biography

Brenda Shaughnessy earned a BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an MFA from Columbia University. She is the author of Interior with Sudden Joy (1999), Human Dark with Sugar (2008), winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, and Our Andromeda (2012). Her work has appeared in the Yale Review, the Boston Review, McSweeney’s, and Best American Poetry, among other places. With C.J. Evans, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Disappointment & Failure, Humor & Satire, Love, Marriage & Companionship, Relationships, Time & Brevity, Break-ups & Vexed Love

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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