Edison in Love
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?
“Edison in Love” first appeared in Poetry, Vol. 187:1 (October 2005): 23.