Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

joan mazza

desire is a slime mold


you hardly notice at first, a kind of quickening
in the gut, narrowed focus of attention, like
that white splash you see on the forest floor
that could be owl poop but is a swarming
amoebic mass of cells digesting leaves until
conditions tell it to gather together and form
an erect fruiting body to send spores on the wind.
You can't stop what's natural, meant to continue
the species. Call it selfish, but you're guilty.
The scent of the earth rises with every footfall,
grabs you by the groin and won't let go until
you're pansexual, could do it with a stick,
depending on your inclination. Sex tastes of honey,
sings the velvet chant of all mammals. Ask
Masters and Johnson and they'll tell you of its force,
a boulder tipped off a cliff can go in only one direction.
No Sufi dance or incantation will make it fly.
You don't want to be an animal, you say, you're
a spiritual being having a human experience, but
beds are calling, and you don't even need a bed.
Lie down on that forest floor among the slime
and salamanders and let them teach you the steps.
If you have a little sense, you'll bring a diaphragm,
domed protection for your future, though no future
awaits, only the now, the pressing its engorged
flesh, lubrication, the draw of skin on skin that will
show you what the spirit really wants, elevation
to another realm of body trance. That old disco
question, Ya wanna fuck? is like the drug you'd
never take, a cake you have to eat to be complete.
That stiff worm of longing will find its burrow,
winds its way into your sentiments, douse you
like Monsanto with chemicals you mistake as love,
squeeze you tight as a baby blanket. Think you're above
these yearnings, that you can just say no, remember
to use the condom? Afterward, you'll say, I was
under a spell
. This will be the journey for anyone
born, thrust out of that silky tunnel, because
the universe is expanding faster and faster
and can't slow you down. Plus vite! The slime
molds are your life coaches. Get down in the dirt
with us. We'll show you how it's done.

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, and has been a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. Author of six self-help psychology books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), she has had poetry in Rattle, Kestrel, The MacGuffin, Mezzo Cammin, Slipstream, and The Nation.