Dysprosium, poem by Janet Kuypers


Dysprosium

Janet Kuypers

from the “ Periodic Table of Poetry” series (#66, Dy)
12/26/12

I knew I could cut through you like a knife.
But, you were always difficult to get at.
With you, I couldn’t get my fingers wet
when I wore surgical gloves in my searches
for you. I couldn’t feel what I was doing
when I was looking for you, but I kept looking,
because you had the highest magnetic strength
of anything I had ever dealt with in my life.

You drew me to you. I couldn’t help it.

I know you’re not free, and the thing is,
you’ve always tried to bring along
some of your mineral compatriots
whenever we had the chance to meet.
And still, I’d have to search the world
for you, go to the other side of the planet,
because I swear, I thought you were worth
more than all of the tea in China.

I couldn’t help it. You’d put a whole new
light on everything after you hit me
with your laser-like intensity. As I said,
you had this magnetic effect on me.
You’re rare. And I couldn’t help it.

I should have known that if you got close,
if I got the chance to breathe you in,
you’d probably be an explosive hazard
to me. I should have known that
what we have could be ignited
by the sparks we would make.

But as I said, I couldn’t help it.
Even if you cause this spark,
even if you cause this explosive reaction,
I’d still have to come back,
because no matter what,
the burning I feel for you
doesn’t last as long as you do.
You burn readily, but you’re hard to get.
And I’m waiting for that next chance
to feel those reactions with you again.


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