Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Courtship

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Courtship

Article excerpt

How much medication human mating requires

in the United States, in the twenty-first century,

gallons of beer and rum, kilos of hash and marijuana,

all to dispel the counsel of parents, and priests, and mirrors,

so every Bev and Bill can function as healthy adult creatures

and touch one cape of their erotic destiny.

And if the act succeeds, it replicates in more

and more fluent instances with ever less potent dosages.

And if it fails, the same drugs may aid in forgetting,

or multi-task as anodyne and aphrodisiac

as ever so gently begins to billow the sails

of the ship of addiction on its ancient voyage to Mars

with the standard license issued by Venus.

Gallons of beer and rum, kilos of hash and marijuana-

Jesus is little help. He circles like a vulture.

Do you have baggage? the bellboy in hell asks,

and it is a suitcase Flannery O'Connor packed:

miscellaneous hair and skin and body parts-

the brain of one lover, the legs of another. …

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