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Edison in Love

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Thomas Edison loved a doll
with a tiny phonograph inside
because he made her speak.

Is there any other reason
to love a woman? Did she say   
the ghost of my conception

or something equally demure?
It’s hard to be sure how he feels
when he holds me, I fall apart.   

I’m projecting here. He didn’t feel   
her first transgression
was in having no expression.   

René Descartes, too, traveled alone   
with a doll-in-a-box
he called his daughter. Francine,

Francine... is it better to be silent   
and wait for everything   
we were promised?

Or should we love them back,   
the way a train loves its destination,   
as if we have the machinery necessary for it?


Source: Poetry

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This poem originally appeared in the October 2005 issue of Poetry magazine

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Edison in Love

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