Robin Ekiss

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.