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

How Beautiful

A personal lens: glass bending rays
That gave one that day’ s news
Saying each and every day,

Just remember you are standing
On a planet that’ s evolving.
How beautiful, she thought, what distance does

For water, the view from above or afar.
In last night’ s dream, they were back again
At the beginning. She was a child

And he was a child.
A plane lit down and left her there.
Cold whitening the white sky whiter.

Then a scalpel cut her open for all the world
To be a sea.