Seduction is always more singular and
sublime than sex and it commands the higher price.
–Jean Baudrillard, Seduction
In the Deserts of the West, still today, there are
Tattered Ruins of that Map. . . in all the Land there
is no other Relic of the Disciplines of Geography.
–Jorge Luis Borges, “On Exactitude in Science”
We sip our wine and murmur quietly of mundane events
All the while our eyes and hands and bodies burn with desire
Yet undefined and undeclared in the glare of evening crystal.
Who would know, least of all ourselves,
That such unconscious craving only feeds itself
More brightly in the denial?
And all around us, the walls absorb our yearning
And the lamps burn softly as we converse
Yet delaying and denying and refusing to submit
To what is natural for our baser selves:
In this place our shadows whisper urgently
While we attend to polite courtesies.
After a time you will find an excuse to depart
And I will mutter some platitude about how pleasant
Was this diversion of our minds and hearts;
And so you go and so I stay quite undisturbed:
Not a hair nor a fold of clothing out of place.
We have not seized the moment but watched it slide.
I imagine you on the street adjusting your attire
To present the perfectly satisfied and well-disposed
Man of confidence. While I move to turn off the lights
And in the dark undress – my hands so cold upon me –
To slip into a righteous, lonely bed
And pray no nightmare lay waiting in your stead.