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.
Copyright © 2008 Brenda Shaughnessy
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.