The Locus of Desire (Is) by Gillian Devereux

Like a pod of whales, but far heavier.
The shark who is still and thus suffocates.
A siege of cranes. A streak of tigers.

A word we manufacture for convenience,
a compressed way to express the collective,
to fit the many into one specific location.

The space somewhere past lust, the point
that approaches love with the shrewdness
of apes, the exaltation of larks. Without surfeit

the skunk must survive on what’s discarded.
With or without purpose, the heart still beats
100,000 times a day. The heart still battles,

collects its resources into a wedge. A knot.
A fleet. A tower. A raft. Every name useless.
Every label insufficient. We cannot explain

this configuration of desire, how it develops
with the lurid flourish of strumpets. How it slips,
falls just beyond the grasp of millionaires.



Gillian Devereux received her MFA in Poetry from Old Dominion University and is currently a PhD candidate in the Media, Art, and Text program at Virginia Commonwealth University. She teaches Media Culture and English at Bay State College. Her poems have appeared in FOURSQUARE, H_NGM_N, Open Letters, Gargoyle, 32 Poems, Wicked Alice, and other journals.