Pat Jones

Loving Mr Spock

by Susan McLean

At sixteen I was hooked on Mr. Spock,
not knowing why his cool control disarmed me,
while Kirk’s grand passions seemed a laughingstock —
each week, another loved and left. What charmed me
was not, I think, Spock’s coldness, but my guess
that hidden urges gnawed at his resistance,
as mine gnawed me, his stoic loneliness
a shield against the claws of loss and distance.

I now know passion only lasts on ice.
Nothing attracts like those who do not want us —
or do, but can’t be had. The paradise
we own we do not see. It cannot haunt us
like that tall figure, silent and apart,
still burning in the black hole of my heart.

Susan McLean teaches English at Southwest Minnesota State University. Her poems have appeared recently in Light Quarterly, The Chimaera, and Measure. This winter the University of Evansville Press will publish her poetry book The Best Disguise.