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by Brenda Shaughnessy

I am dreaming of a house just like this one


but larger and opener to the trees, nighter


than day and higher than noon, and you,


visiting, knocking to get in, hoping for icy


milk or hot tea or whatever it is you like.


For each night is a long drink in a short glass.


A drink of blacksound water, such a rush


and fall of lonesome no form can contain it.


And if it isn’t night yet, though I seem to


recall that it is, then it is not for everyone.


Did you receive my invitation? It is not


for everyone. Please come to my house


lit by leaf light. It’s like a book with bright


pages filled with flocks and glens and groves


and overlooked by Pan, that seductive satyr


in whom the fish is also cooked. A book that


took too long to read but minutes to unread—


that is—to forget. Strange are the pages


thus. Nothing but the hope of company.


I made too much pie in expectation. I was


hoping to sit with you in a tree house in a


nightgown in a real way. Did you receive


my invitation? Written in haste, before


leaf blinked out, before the idea fully formed.


An idea like a storm cloud that does not spill


or arrive but moves silently in a direction.


Like a dark book in a long life with a vague


hope in a wood house with an open door.

Read at St. Lydia’s on February 24, 2013


Posted in: Poems

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