The Urge to Stay

Shannon McKeehen

Front (…and back)
Photo Credit: Albert Palmer

I tend to go where I feel wanted,
regardless of whether it bears
fruit: ripe and shining. We wait
by the steps, in front of the door,
the knob glowing apple red.
I don’t have any goals, not anymore.
The seeds from my pockets are gone.

I gave you so many chances, love
sown with each attempt, each bitten
lip. Maybe you never cared about me,
never fought the temptation to forgive me,
but I still tried, waving a ripe fruit
under your nose. These wishes are
meant for plucking. A part of me is
still so sorry, aching, and sour.

Shannon McKeehen is a fresh-faced, second-year creative writing MFA at Mills College, in Oakland, California, USA. She writes often in her poetry blog and otherwise enjoys reading and responding to the work of other writers, young and old. She also enjoys listening to music, painting and drawing, eating, and engaging in heated political debates. Email: smckeehen[at]

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