The Unquarried Blue of Those Depths Is All But Blinding

By Ashley Anna McHugh

for John Fogleman

There are some things we just don’t talk about—
Not even in the morning, when we’re waking,
When your calloused fingers tentatively walk
The slope of my waist:
                                         How love’s a rust-worn boat,
Abandoned at the dock—and who could doubt
Waves lick their teeth, eyeing its hull? We’re taking
Our wreckage as a promise, so we don’t talk.
We wet the tired oars, tide drawing us out.
We understand there’s nothing to be said.
Both of us know the dangers of this sea,
Warned by the tide-worn driftwood of our pasts—.
But we’ve already strayed from the harbor. We thread
A slow wake though the water—then silently,
We start to row, and will for as long as this lasts.

Ashley Anna McHugh, “The Unquarried Blue of Those Depths Is All But Blinding” from Into These Knots. Copyright © 2010 by Ashley Anna McHugh. Reprinted by permission of Ivan R. Dee, Publisher.

Source: Into These Knots (Ivan R. Dee, 2010)

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Poet Ashley Anna McHugh

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Love, Desire, Romantic Love, Nature, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

Poetic Terms Sonnet


Poet and editor Ashley Anna McHugh earned her BA at Ohio State University and pursued graduate work at Boston University and the University of Arkansas. Formally inflected, McHugh’s poetry uses rhyme and meter to explore themes of family, loss, and history. Her debut collection, Into These Knots (2010), won the New Criterion Poetry Prize.
A former editor of the literary journal Linebreak, McHugh has won the Morton Marr Poetry . . .

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Poems by Ashley Anna McHugh

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Desire, Romantic Love, Nature, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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