Mario Kart: Brain Circuit

by Ben Read

Sitting on the couch with you, I tell you
I want to go inside your brain
and dance. Maybe the pink twists and turns
look like a race track, circles and switchbacks
and Mario Kart characters like the ones
we drive around Peach Gardens in little go karts
but now, I’ll get out and tread lightly, buoyantly,
on the garden walkway underneath rose arches
of neurotransmitters like cello string synapses,
reaching up to take a single petal, curved and cupped
where it could be filled with creek water
or tea, and I sip from it while I watch neurons
float by, sparking clouds, lightning ideas
and I’ll find Anxiety in a river of norepinephrine
and he’ll offer me a refill, smirking.
I’ll challenge him to a race, because he looks
like Bowser, capturing princesses in his castle
of cortexes and amygdalas, moats of cranial fluid
halls filled with mushrooms and shells, stars glinting
as we start speeding around them, and I fall back
then pull ahead, your smiles like rainbow box powerups
and on the final lap, I’m getting closer and closer
to you, at the checkered flag, in a tinted pink sundress
that lets the light pass through and touch your skin
eradicating shadows as I kiss you on your tiptoes,
electricity coursing through speedways and our veins.