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Hate Poem

I hate you truly. Truly I do.
Everything about me hates everything about you.
The flick of my wrist hates you.
The way I hold my pencil hates you.
The sound made by my tiniest bones were they trapped 
      in the jaws of a moray eel hates you.
Each corpuscle singing in its capillary hates you.

Look out! Fore! I hate you.

The blue-green jewel of sock lint I’m digging
      from under my third toenail, left foot, hates you.
The history of this keychain hates you.
My sigh in the background as you explain relational databases
      hates you.
The goldfish of my genius hates you.
My aorta hates you. Also my ancestors.

A closed window is both a closed window and an obvious
      symbol of how I hate you.

My voice curt as a hairshirt: hate.
My hesitation when you invite me for a drive: hate.
My pleasant “good morning”: hate.
You know how when I’m sleepy I nuzzle my head
      under your arm? Hate.
The whites of my target-eyes articulate hate. My wit
      practices it.
My breasts relaxing in their holster from morning
      to night hate you.
Layers of hate, a parfait.
Hours after our latest row, brandishing the sharp glee of hate,
I dissect you cell by cell, so that I might hate each one
      individually and at leisure.
My lungs, duplicitous twins, expand with the utter validity
      of my hate, which can never have enough of you,
Breathlessly, like two idealists in a broken submarine.

—Julie Sheehan

from PLEIADES, vol. 24:2
Central Missouri State Press

Copyright Julie Sheehan.
All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission of Julie Sheehan. Copyright by Julie Sheehan. For further permissions information, contact Julie Sheehan, 185 Water Hole Road, East Hampton, NY 11937, [email protected].

Poetry 180

About the Poet

Julie Sheehan was born and raised in Pierson, Iowa. She received a BA from Yale University and an MFA in poetry from Columbia University. is the author of three poetry books, including Bar Book: Poems and Otherwise (W. W. Norton, 2010).

Learn more about Julie Sheehan at The Poetry Foundation.