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.
(Graywolf Press, 2007)