27 May, 2014

A Poem Drawn from an Everyday Moment of Suspense

A Watched Pot

Observing the un-
Observable molecules en masse —
Excitable itty-bitty
Frotteurs all
Hot and bothered
Beyond mere Brownian
How-do-you-dos —
As steamy liaisons
Befog the air.
Their collective
Breath of pleasure
Titillates the
Voyeur’s neglected tympana,
Just as their
S h i v e r i n g
Always seems to him
Tantalizing seconds
From a raging boil
And sanitizing release.

* * * * *

Watching water in anticipation one late-afternoon, I started thinking all manner of things — about the value people place on patience and its corresponding trait, self-restraint; about the languages of desire and romance (of which I’m told French is among the latter); about what, empirically, was going on in the cup of water into which I had dropped an immersion heater to make ramen soup, and how scientific terminology often lends itself well to poetry; about what manifold meanings I might squeeze out of the simple act of heating up some H2O. The resulting poem could be criticized for lacking cohesion, for being too scattered, but I think it accomplishes what I intended for it to. Plus I like how it rolls off my tongue.

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