Me in Paradise

Brenda Shaughnessy

 
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.

Poems by This Author

Big Game by Brenda Shaughnessy
What began as wildfire ends up
I'm Over the Moon by Brenda Shaughnessy
I don't like what the moon is supposed to do
Why Is the Color of Snow? by Brenda Shaughnessy
Let's ask a poet with no way of knowing


Further Reading

Poems About Passion and Sex
9.
by E. E. Cummings
Canterbury Tales, Wife of Bath's Prologue [Excerpt]
by Geoffrey Chaucer
A Greek Island
by Edward Hirsch
A Sequence
by Leslie Scalapino
Almost There
by Timothy Liu
Antique
by Arthur Rimbaud
Arts & Sciences
by Philip Appleman
At the Touch of You
by Witter Bynner
Aubade: Some Peaches, After Storm
by Carl Phillips
Because I cannot remember my first kiss
by Roger Bonair-Agard
Blue
by May Swenson
Boston
by Aaron Smith
Carrefour
by Amy Lowell
corydon & alexis, redux
by D. A. Powell
Elegy 5
by Ovid
Erotic Energy
by Chase Twichell
First Turn to Me...
by Bernadette Mayer
Fish Fucking
by Michael Blumenthal
Fixed
by Christopher Stackhouse
In Praise of Shame
by Lord Alfred Douglas
Kinky
by Denise Duhamel
Libido
by Rupert Brooke
My Bright Aluminum Tumblers
by Michael Ryan
National Nudist Club Newsletter
by Wayne Koestenbaum
No Platonic Love
by William Cartwright
Novel
by Arthur Rimbaud
Poems of Passion and Sex
Prague
by Khadijah Queen
Privilege of Being
by Robert Hass
Safe Sex
by Donald Hall
Sex
by Michael Ryan
Song
by James Joyce
Stones
by Michael Blumenthal
The Ecstasy
by Phillip Lopate
The Elephant is Slow to Mate
by D.H. Lawrence
The Hug
by Thom Gunn
To His Mistress Going to Bed
by John Donne
Undressing You
by Witter Bynner
Wild Rose
by Bryher
XIII
by CÚsar Vallejo
Year of the Tiger
by Miguel Murphy