I get a poem from The Academy of American Poets delivered to my inbox once a day. Sometimes the daily poems are beautiful. Sometimes they are not. One of this week’s poems is exceptionally beautiful.
by Monica Ferrell
You need me like ice needs the mountain
On which it breeds. Like print needs the page.
You move in me like the tongue in a mouth,
Like wind in the leaves of summer trees,
Gust-fists, hollow except for movement and desire
Which is movement. You taste me the way the claws
Of a pigeon taste that window-ledge on which it sits,
The way water tastes rust in the pipes it shuttles through
Beneath a city, unfolding and luminous with industry.
Before you were born, the table of elements
Was lacking, and I as a noble gas floated
Free of attachment. Before you were born,
The sun and the moon were paper-thin plates
Some machinist at his desk merely clicked into place.
My favorite lines, “Before you were born, the table of elements/Was lacking, and I as a noble gas floated/Free of attachment,” remind me of myself before I met Bec. I just sort of floated around, not really caring much about anyone other than myself. I suppose enjoying freedom doesn’t necessarily mean I didn’t care about other people. I cared about other people, just not enough to be stable or devoted. I was pretty ridiculous. And I was totally fine with the ridiculousness of being unattached. It wasn’t as if I was looking for someone to attach myself to. And, sometimes I wonder if I am still not a bit of a noble gas. It’s a good thing Bec is so understanding of my noble gas-ness.