Desire

— Dennis Richardson

I had the desire to write a poem about desire,
But in trying to write it I realized
Desiring to write about desire
Was necessary but not sufficient.
One has to know something about what
One is desirous of. Just sitting here on
The egg of desire wasn’t going to do it,
Desire, an algebraic function,
So many variables, most abstract.

Of course desire did ride in on A Streetcar.
That one sends chills down my spine.
Where is Stella now? I call out “Stella.”
My wife answers back “what?” “Manila,”
I say, “folders,” “Do we have any?” She comes in.
Sheepishly I show her some papers on my desk
Now desiring her to leave or, maybe come closer,
The idea of desirous not abstract any more,
Desire, suddenly concrete, no,
That’s not a good word, within reach, better.

Offering my hand, I give her my sly afternoon look.
“I’m going to the store for some cat litter.”
(aside, perplexed) we don’t have a… cat.
“You want me to pick up some folders too?”
Desire in your face, I heard desire say,
Stella about to depart on the streetcar
She came in on. Disappointment, surprise, two
Of the variables now swaggering into the room
Bringing with them other soggy memories:
Santa, God, and now desire not to be trusted.
“Wait a minute, I’m coming with you.”
 

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