Or is it love that holds us
like pickles in the brine
turning sour against our will;
Or flat out upon the board,
the knife-thrower’s model, waiting
for the moment of truth, in which
we must inevitably be pinned?
O custom is the caterer: our hunger for acceptance,
rooms too filled with furniture,
schedules kept as that routine we call necessity;
lame excuses we make: age, children, propriety,
that job, the-without-which-not there is anxiety.
In the end a tender look, a touch,
a hope, perhaps, for an evening of passion,
is that which secures us.
An occasional Freudian slip tells the tale
of another prison, this one without walls,
an appliance inserted unobtrusively into the hippocampal web,
a kind of button
that makes sybaritic cyborgs of us all.
see note #25