Mock Orange -- LOUISE GLÜCK It is not the moon, I tell you. It is these flowers lighting the yard. I hate them. I hate them as I hate sex, the man’s mouth sealing my mouth, the man’s paralyzing body— and the cry that always escapes, the low, humiliating premise of union— In my mind tonight I hear the question and pursuing answer fused in one sound that mounts and mounts and then is split into the old selves, the tired antagonisms. Do you see? We were made fools of. And the scent of mock orange drifts through the window. How can I rest? How can I be content when there is still that odor in the world? https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/49601/mock-orange
Oh Louise I agree. How can we rest? How can we be happy when always that question and answer, that one terrible sound mounts and mounts (but never actually arrives, at least into words) in us, before fading into an un- bearable breaking, our tired old selves returned to us again, stupid, singular, washed up in the sheets of that ridiculous dream, that fatal desire for connection? How can we ever be still, or even breathe when that salty promise lingers in the air like smog?
Suggested soundtrack: Meatloaf, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”