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.