Definitely

By Mary Jo Bang b. 1946 Mary Jo Bang
What is desire
But the hardwire argument given
To the mind’s unstoppable mouth.

Inside the braincase, it’s I
Want that fills every blank. And then the hand
Reaches for the pleasure

The plastic snake offers. Someone says, Yes,
It will all be fine in some future soon.
Definitely. I’ve conjured a body

In the chair before me. Be yourself, I tell it.
Here memory makes you
Unchangeable: that shirt, those summer pants.

That beautiful face.
That tragic beautiful mind.
That mind’s ravenous mouth

That told you, This isn’t poison
At all but just what the machine needs. And then,
The mouth closes on its hunger.

The heart stops.

“Definitely” reprinted from Elegy by Mary Jo Bang. © 2007 by Mary Jo Bang. Used with permission of Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Source: Elegy (Graywolf Press, 2007)

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Poet Mary Jo Bang b. 1946

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Relationships, Love, Desire, Living, The Mind

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Mary Jo  Bang

Biography

Mary Jo Bang was born in 1946 in Missouri and grew up in Cool Valley, outside of St. Louis. She originally studied sociology, earning both her BA and MA in the subject from Northwestern University. She earned a BA in photography from the Polytechnic of Central London, and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Apology for Want (1997), which received the . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Desire, Living, The Mind

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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