A Poem by Natalie Shapero

February 5, 2021  By Natalie Shapero

Some people say the devil is beating
his wife. Some people say the devil
is pawing his wife. Some people say
the devil is doubling down on an overall
attitude of entitlement toward
the body of his wife. Some people
say the devil won’t need to be sorry,
as the devil believes that nothing
comes after this life. Some people say
that in spite of the devil’s public,
longstanding, and meticulously
logged disdain for the health
and wholeness of his wife, the devil
spends all day, every day, insisting
grandly and gleefully on his general
pro-woman ethos, that the devil truly
considers himself to be an unswayed
crusader: effortlessly magnetic,
scrupulous, gracious, and, in spite of
the devil’s several advanced degrees,
a luminous autodidact. Some people
say calm down; this is commonplace.
Some people say calm down;
this is very rare. Some people say
the sun is washing her face. Some
people say in Hell, they’re having a fair.


Popular Longing by Natalie Shapero

From Popular Longing by Natalie Shapero. Used with permission from Copper Canyon Press. Copyright © 2021 by Natalie Shapero.

Natalie Shapero
Natalie Shapero
Natalie Shapero is a professor of the practice of poetry at Tufts University. Her most recent poetry collection, Hard Child (Copper Canyon, 2017), was shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize. Her previous collection, No Object (Saturnalia, 2013), received the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award. Natalie’s writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Poetry, and elsewhere, and she is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, and a Kenyon Review Fellowship.

More Story
Egyptian Nights and Other Tales of Romance and Imagination by Alexander Pushkin, Read by Stefan Rudnicki Every Monday through Friday, AudioFile’s editors recommend the best in audiobook listening. We keep our daily episodes...

Become a Lit Hub Supporting Member: Because Books Matter

For the past decade, Literary Hub has brought you the best of the book world for free—no paywall. But our future relies on you. In return for a donation, you’ll get an ad-free reading experience, exclusive editors’ picks, book giveaways, and our coveted Joan Didion Lit Hub tote bag. Most importantly, you’ll keep independent book coverage alive and thriving on the internet.