Other weddings are so shrewd on the sofa, short
and baffled, bassett-legged. All things
knuckled, I have no winter left, in my sore rememory,
to melt down for drinking water. Shrunk down.
Your wedding slides the way wiry dark hairs do, down
a swimming pool drain. So I am drained.
Sincerely. I wish you every chapped bird on this
pilgrimage to hold your hem up from the dust.
Dust is plural: infinite dust. I will sink in the sun,
I will crawl towards the heavy drawing
and design the curtains in the room
of never marrying you. Because it is a sinking,
because today’s perfect weather is a later life’s
smut. This soiled future unplans love.
I keep unplanning the same Sunday. Leg
and flower, breeze and terrier, I have no garden
and couldn’t be happier. Please, don’t lose me
here. I am sorry my clutch is all
tendon and no discipline: the heart is a severed
kind of muscle and alone.
I can hear yours in your room. I hear mine
in another room. In another’s.
Brenda Shaughnessy, “Epithalament” from Interior with Sudden Joy. Copyright © 1999 by Brenda Shaughnessy. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved.
Source: Interior with Sudden Joy
(Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1999)