“The Lotus Eaters” by Paul French

Image by Mariola Streim

The endocrines are absorbed by the altered receptors of the brain.
Therefore the rodents start to cuddle.

It is deeper than the sea, even if it’s a rodent’s brain.
Though all mystery can be measured.

There’s nothing in the body a surgeon’s knife can’t find.

The subjects I’ve observed don’t even notice the needle anymore.
We’ve put them in so much love.

Don’t worry. I’m just like you.
I too want that experience to be godly.

And maybe, like you, I’ve felt it already. And maybe, like you, I haven’t.
Want remains either way a problem.

And what about those who’ve lost or never held it?
Can anything be too sacred for medicine?

Take a look at this century’s Want.
He’s right here, wearing his lab coat.

So the dosage is increased, the receptors enhanced. Suddenly, you’re
finding forever-bliss in a friend, a wife, a stranger, a dream.

It’s not like Soma, either. What we use is completely natural, endogenous
peptides in the brain, the source of it all.

Worst case scenario: one day, we’ll wake unmedicated in our tightly
shared bed and realize that there’s irony in paradise.

So be it.


Paul French was formerly the Managing Editor of Puerto Del Sol. His work has been featured in Word Riot, Slipstream, and Harpur Palate, among others. He was the recent winner of a Kevin McIlvoy and a Peter Harris-Kunz Fellowship. He has just finished the manuscript of Love Machines and is currently seeking a publisher.

Back To Issue Forty

Leave a Reply