The afterlife of old desires
by Marge Piercy
The things we wanted but never got,
those desires that were starved,
stunted, thrust into a dark closet—
what happened to them?
Did they die tragically in their tombs,
like Aida in the last act singing
arias of loss? Or just age like old
letters that yellow and flake to dust?
Are they living in the walls of our
present like mice scuttling at night
to search for crumbs of regret
or hope too slight to maintain them?
Do they imagine returning sonorous
and full throated to claim us again
to pursue those we desired now gray
as lichen and dry as sandpaper?
Do they dream of sprouting one dawn,
mushrooms from vast underground
mycelium? But we’ve gone on and
they’re ghosts no one heeds or fears.
Copyright © 2018 by Marge Piercy.