Electricity (from In Bed with Susan Sontag)

Ann Pedone

When we were in the kitchen last night and you were trying to explain the difference between electric circuits and an ocean wave. I asked about tomorrow’s breakfast, buried nuclear silos in the Arizona desert, and that time when you went down on that girl in the front seat of your brother’s car. There were 26 letters between the girl’s legs, and none of them made a sound. I’m sorry, did you hear that? I think it was coming from somewhere in north Jersey. Because when you said “semiotic” just now, I was thinking about those waves you had mentioned on the subway; the ones that make electronic speech transmission possible. Right after dinner let’s get undressed and get into bed and watch Masculin/Feminin on my phone. I refuse to accept metaphor in poetry, and the sight of your cock in my small hand every night still leaves me breathless.


Ann is a poet and literary translator in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the author of The Medea Notebooks (Spring 2023 Etruscan Press), and The Italian Professor’s Wife (Press 53), as well as the chapbooks The Bird Happened, perhaps there is a sky we don’t know: a re-imagining of sappho, Everywhere You Put Your Mouth, Sea [break], and DREAM/WORK. Her work has recently appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, Narrative, Chicago Quarterly Review, The Louisville Review, Gigantic Sequins, and Conduit.