Desire

Elizabeth Metzger

It is for you I put the children to bed.

Or, come. I will keep the house awake for you.

The floor is fluttering with tongues.
I step through and you step after me
                                                                     laughing,

these are toys.

                              Isn’t it obvious how we’ve changed?

I have no more use for pure feeling.
You escape directly behind my head.

Little vitrines in the closed museums
not being looked at
                                                 I would die to be their objects.

The children left me.
You say they came.

What could you possibly do for my body
when I am in two

                                                separate rooms,
                                                breathing?

Elizabeth Metzger is the author of The Spirit Papers, winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry, and the chapbook The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death. She is the poetry editor of The Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly Journal.
Originally published:
May 19, 2021

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