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"Epithalament," Brenda Shaughnessy

Epithalament

BY BRENDA SHAUGHNESSY

Other weddings are so shrewd on the sofa, short

and baffled, bassett-legged. All things

knuckled, I have no winter left, in my sore rememory,

to melt down for drinking water. Shrunk down.

Your wedding slides the way wiry dark hairs do, down

a swimming pool drain. So I am drained.

Sincerely. I wish you every chapped bird on this

pilgrimage to hold your hem up from the dust.

Dust is plural: infinite dust. I will sink in the sun,

I will crawl towards the heavy drawing

and design the curtains in the room

of never marrying you. Because it is a sinking,

because today’s perfect weather is a later life’s

smut. This soiled future unplans love.

I keep unplanning the same Sunday. Leg

and flower, breeze and terrier, I have no garden

and couldn’t be happier. Please, don’t lose me

here. I am sorry my clutch is all

tendon and no discipline: the heart is a severed

kind of muscle and alone.

I can hear yours in your room. I hear mine

in another room. In another’s.

 

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"Dog Videos I'd Like To See On The Internet," Heather Monley

From McSweeneys:  

I want to see dogs wearing crisp uniforms on the first day of school, dogs sitting at little dog desks, dogs gluing together paper pilgrim hats, dogs practicing math problems on educational software or, for a more old-timey feel, sitting in a one-room schoolhouse and writing letters on black slates. I want to see dogs packing Conestoga wagons and setting out west, dogs homesteading, dogs committing atrocities, dogs realizing that atrocities have been committed and taking precautions to ensure that the same atrocities are not committed again. Dogs drafting the Magna Carta. Dogs developing a new, more advanced optical disk storage media format.

I'm not sure what it is about this essay that keeps bringing me back. It's funny, obviously, at least if you're amused by dogs dressed like pioneers (I am). And it sort of indirectly addresses the question of why we are so fascinated by non-humans that resemble humans in some way. But there's also a wistful quality to it that I like - and I don't want to elaborate any more, because I'm not able to say exactly what I want to say. If I figure it out, I'll let you know.

 

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