"The Solitude of Ophelia"

Jul 28, 2014

...We know what we are, but know not what we may be... Hamlet, IV. v 44

My eyes open, lettuce leaves,
curling cabbages to look bitter inside
my terror, a skinned spine.
Creature of death, I welcome and eat you without pain.

The monster heart
gone to weeds.
I make mental contact with the lovers
watching TV in hotel rooms, share
wine with the carpet, spend
every buck I have.
Sell the typewriter.

The fear snake arrives in the sky.
I watch neighbors leave for work.
We have nothing in common
but the lust for change. And for them

love is so simple: they get married.
See that picnic in the rosemary? That's for remembrance.
They are so drunk and laugh so hard
in their dreams they lose their teeth
watching me rise.


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Shaun Gant grew up in Clancy, Montana, and studied writing with poet Richard Hugo at the University of Montana. She is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships. Her poems, plays, and collaborations with visual artists are widely published. "The Solitude of Ophelia" was published in her 2002 collection Whisk Lyric Logic.