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.
[Brenda Shaughnessy, 'Me in Paradise', from Human Dark with Sugar]