Joanne Dominique Dwyer

I don’t believe desire is the root of all suffering,

though it’s better to pull up the roots

of the weeds you desire to be rid of,

rather than poison them. For nothing

will grow again in that dirt.

I never read philosophy. It hurts

the way a fall from the monkey bars does

or an argument with someone you desire

that goes round n’ round and ends in a knock-out

or an even less satisfying temporary truce.

Birds keep getting stuck in the body of my stove.

I open the soapstone door and they emerge

soot-covered, disoriented, batter

their tiny skulls against glass.

Eventually finding their way out

through one of the opened windows –

the way I want to find my way through to the real you

if there is such a thing - changing as we do

our passwords, our undergarments, the pets in our garages.

Desire cannot be the root of all suffering!

Hunger and loneliness, or ineradicable pain perhaps.

The boa is hard-wired to crush endoskeletons.

Every religion has their saints and their power mongers.

Some are allergic to strawberries.

To be human is to desire.

Eggs and garlic and the oil of the evening primrose.

The pollen hurting some, others unaffected.

The only agreed upon creed: Do no harm.

I like to be under the canopy of trees,

so you could say I desire shade.

The heads of tiny quail in puff pastry.

My children to outlive me,

that I may give them my land.

The dome of the cerebellum an umbrella –

white paint is falling from the eaves of my roof.

Today I loaded a stack of old coats

into black garbage bags and left them

on a loading dock behind the Salvation Army –

unsure that the portal into the sky

will fit us all.

Found In Volume 40, No. 02
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Joanne Dominique Dwyer
About the Author

Joanne Dominique Dwyer lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is a 2008 recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers Foundation Award.