Treasure Island

Erica Jong

(26 March 1942 / New York City)

Anti-Matter


I am not interested
in my body-
the part that stinks
& rots & brings forth
life,
the part that the ground
swallows,
death giving birth
to death-
all of life,
considered
from the body's
point of view,
is a downhill slide
& all our small
preservatives
& griefs
cannot reverse the trend.

All sensualists
turn puritan
at the end-
turning up lust's soil
& finding bones
beneath the rich volcanic
dirt.

Some sleep in shrouds
& some in coffins;
some swear off
procreation, others turn
vegetarian, or worse:
they live on air-
on sheer platonic meals
of pure ideas;
once gluttons of the flesh,
they now become
gourmets of the mind.
How to resist that
when the spacious earth
swallows her children
so insatiably,
when all our space-age gods
are grounded,
& only the moan of pleasure
or the rasp of pain
can ever satisfy
the body's appetite?

& yet my body,
in its dubious wisdom,
led to yours;
& you may
puzzle out
this mystery in your turn.
Choose mind, choose body,
choose to wed the two;
many have tried
but few have done the deed.

Through you, perhaps,
I may at last succeed.

Submitted: Wednesday, March 28, 2012

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