Samarium, “Periodic Table of Poetry” poem by Chicago poet Janet Kuypers

Samarium

Janet Kuypers

from the “Periodic Table of Poetry” series (#62, Sm)
(based on the poem “And I’m Wondering”)
10/1/13

I’m wondering if there’s something
chemical that brings us together,
something that brings us to our knees,
something that sucks us in…

Your stare from a distance haunts me;
I know that your look lasts longer
than the Universe itself, so, if we join,
would we stay together forever?

I’m wondering if you’re sensing what I’m
sensing, is it just me, am I making this all up
in my head, or when I glance up and catch your
eyes, do you see how you’ve taken hold of me?

I look at you and think that you’re supposed
to be the one that’s good for everyone else,
that you’re supposed go out of your way to help
everyone else, and the one thing I do know

is that you don’t break down like everyone
else seems to with me, so maybe this attraction
to you might not cause to you leave me.
Maybe you’ll absorb me in, neutron by neutron.

Because really, I’m wondering if it could work out
this time, if we’d have one of those relationships
that no one ever doubts, especially us,
because we know we’ll always be in love…

I’ve been so drawn to you, you have that effect
on me, I can’t help it. This magnetism
is undeniable, the heat you generate can actually
ignite in the air with me. Maybe that’s why

I’ve been wondering why I felt the need
to take your cigarette and inhale, exhale,
while the filter was still warm from
your lips, there just seconds before.

I’ve seen you work well with others. My loved
ones with cancer, you could even help them.
It makes me a little jealous, because I’ve been
so drawn to you that I want you for myself.

Because really, when I catch your eyes from
across the room, when I see your eyes dart away,
when I feel this chemical reaction, well,
what I’m wondering is, do you feel it too.

Europium, poem from the “Periodic Table of Poetry” series by Chicago poet Janet Kuypers

Europium

Janet Kuypers

from the “Periodic Table of Poetry” series (#63, Eu)
(based on the poem “Too Much Light”)
10/2/13

too much light makes the baby go blind
and too much light makes the moth
rush into the flame
and die in a glorious blaze of glory

A scientist placed parts of you
in a tube,
removed all the air he could
and sent
an electrical current right through you.

It glowed
And he called it a Cathode Ray.

I have seen the light;
I have seen your red hue.

You say you make everything bright,
but what is my choice:

burn in that red flame
if I get too much of you,
so I can burst quickly?
I know they even dope plastics
with you for lasers, for what,
so you’d be ready
for a quick kill?

So, what,
do I burn in that red flame?
Or do I keep giving myself
only trace amounts of you,
taking your red intensity
bit by bit,
thinking I’m not
giving myself
enough, but still,
you absorb me slowly?
Until you pull me in?

Because either way,
you’ll try to absorb me in,
right down to my neutrons.
I mean, they’ve been
doping what I use
all the time with you
for all of my life now,
and I didn’t even know it.

Yeah, they say too much light
makes the baby go blind.
But what does it do
when it’s been with you
all your life?
Will it kill you then?

They keep talking about
too much light,
but I wonder
if it’s a question
of the right kind of light.
Because,
you haven’t taken me out
yet —
I seem to be doing
pretty well with you.
So they might be talking
about the danger,
but if you know
what you’re doing,
maybe enough of you
is just what I need.
I’ll take my chances
with you,
because if you’ve been doped
into what I use,
maybe the addition if you
is exactly hat I need.