Very Last Thing: Rousseau, Shelley, Hujar

This essay reads the third-to-last line of Shelley’s , “as if that look must be the last,” as an aside that asks what occurs after that last look. In a post-Waterloo poem that imagines a hallucinatory end-of-the-world scenario amidst several last things, including a kiss, Shelley explores the adjacencies opened up by his unfinished late piece. It also turns to disparate works by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Peter Hujar that serve as further instantiations of the kind of lastness that the poem complexly meditates on.