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


Janet Kuypers

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

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.

Touching Cobalt, Periodic Table poem by Chicago poet Janet Kuypers

Touching Cobalt

Janet Kuypers

from the “ Periodic Table of Poetry” series (#027)

We toasted our anniversary
with Cobalt blue champagne glasses
after we looked over the Cobalt
and tungsten wedding bands.

Seems fitting,
since I am so attracted to you,
that we’re drawn to Cobalt,
one of the most magnetic elements.

I heard a physicist explain
that when two solid objects
are pressed together
they never actually touch.

Now, I can’t imagine it,
but maybe,
because electrons repel
all objects remain one molecule apart.

That must be why,
when we embrace
I want to hold you
tighter and tighter —

because I want to defy
the laws of physics
and feel that contact with you
as long as I possibly can.

Because right now
I don’t care about electrons,
keeping us one molecule apart.

When it comes to Cobalt,
it’s 27 protons and 32 neutrons
are would tightly together
with a strong nuclear force…
Its nucleus’ binding energy
is so strong,
that it only breaks apart
once it is broken down
into its isotopes.

It won’t break apart
in it’s pure form.

Kind of like us,
I suppose,
how we seem to be
so bound by physics.

Physicists say
that solid objects
can never actually touch.
And I’m sorry,
but when it comes to us,
that just can’t be.
Because I want to experience you
with all of my senses.
I want our molecules to intermingle.
I want us to actually touch.