Me in Paradise
Oh, to be ready for it, unfucked, ever-fucked. To have only one critical eye that never divides a flaw from its lesson. To play without shame. To be a woman who feels only the pleasure of being used and who reanimates the user's anguished release in a land for the future to relish, to buy new tights for, to parade in fishboats. To scare up hope without fear of hope, not holding the hole, I will catch the superbullet in my throat and feel its astounding force with admiration. Absorbing its kind of glory. I must be someone with very short arms to have lost you, to be checking the windows of the pawnshop renting space in my head, which pounds with all the clarity of a policeman on my southernmost door. To wish and not jinx it: to wish and not fish for it: to wish and forget it. To ratchet myself up with hot liquid and find a true surprise. Prowling the living room for the lightning, just one more shock, to bring my slow purity back. To miss you without being so damn cold all the time. To hold you without dying otherwise. To die without losing death as an alternative. To explode with flesh, without collapse. To feel sick in my skeleton, in all the serious confetti of my cells, and know why. Loving you has made me so scandalously beautiful. To give myself to everyone but you. To luck out of you. To make any other mistake.
From Human Dark with Sugar by Brenda Shaughnessy. Published by Copper Canyon Press, 2008. Copyright © Brenda Shaughnessy. Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press. All rights reserved.
Brenda Shaughnessy was born in Okinawa, Japan, in 1970 and grew up in Southern California. She is the author of So Much Synth (Copper Canyon Press, 2016) and The Octopus Museum, forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf in April 2019.
Date Published: 2008-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/me-paradise