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Be strange to yourself,

in your love, your grief.

Your wet eyelashes a black

fringe on brown pain

and your feet unbelievably

sure, somehow, surfing

your own shadow,

that too-large one cresting

just now, too soon for you

to get inside the curl:

the one place in the ocean

where it’s safe. And safe

only for a half-breath

(a fish’s sip with

hooked lip),

only for that one blink

of an eye already shut (tiptoe

to the foreshadow) against

the headlong wall of salt water.

from Our AndromedaFind it in the library

Copyright © 2012 Brenda Shaughnessy
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Brenda Shaughnessy Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.