Conversion  Stephen M. Danos



The word reminds me of math equations
first, but then gears grind and I take up

the idea that every bit of life has been converted
on some level: religious perversion in order to secure

big-time gigs, diversions in smiles, teeth and tongue
swirled around ceramic sinks. One girl and her

jell-o breasts cajoled me into spiked
fiber follicles and button-down shirts.

Once, my niece asked me to scratch her
back before bed-time, her family's custom.

When freezing brings solidarity to water
molecules, nature's informal endorsement

of conversion, communal living for free-flowing
animatronics, shackled somewhat to the system

of appraisal, SEE psychoanalysis. When someone
tells me to view or avoid Hollywood's recent release:

despite red-carpet cameos, dignified criticism, flashy
graphics, the actors with which we're all too familiar by

nominal pseudonyms and voice, I shudder to think:
what if I go with another's impression? I would just

be part of this grander schema, this terrarium
of condominiums, sod, tamed pigeons and squirrels.