Salt and Paper

Natalie Shapero



This country, like a grand house going
unsold — I have a bad feeling —
as though a family was murdered here,
but nobody wants to say. No
victories today, no tears on the mottled
steps of the statehouse, no attending
to morning radio, no one asking is it
too early for champagne, and thank
your God — it’s exhausting,
having to swat and grab at every
next inch forward like some dupe
on a quiz show, stuck in a glass booth,
bills and a blowing machine.
What we’ve done to each other,
we’ll never get out from under.
Bring a handmade sign, that’s the kind
the networks will cut to. Champagne?
It’s not too early. It’s too late.


Natalie Shapero is the Professor of the Practice of Poetry at Tufts and an Editor at Large of the Kenyon Review. Her first collection of poetry is No Object (Saturnalia, 2013), and her second is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press.