Poetry (april 2003)

At Diane’s concert last Friday I sat behind Alexis and Wendy, and they were having this conversation:

Wendy: Do you write poetry?
Alexis: Not well.

Wendy looked at me.

Leslie: I *think* I only have one or two good poems in me, and they’ve already been written.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, here they are.

Affinity- written for my high school girlfriend, Meag, just after reading an article on chemistry in the New Yorker.

In the right corner of the periodic table there lies,
next to einsteinium and francium,
a most unassuming little element. It does nothing
useful like oxygen or calcium, but do not let it’s
size predict it’s capabilities. It is called cesium,
and had I not stumbled upon the extremity of it’s plight,
I might never have known the depth of my own love for you.
Cesium is unpretentious in every way
except that it is the only element precisely one
electron short of equilibrium.
Much like I have spent my life looking for a soulmate,
cesium searches for the one element that will make it whole.
When the match is found, there is an explosion of heat and light,
a celebration of it’s completeness.

For cesium, there was fluorine. For me, there was you.
and the explosion of heat and light and
the joy of being complete.

untitled- I can’t remember exactly when I wrote this one, but I was embroiled in grief at the time.

Let me cry. Let the hurt
flow out of my body on the
waves of my tears. Let me
see the ablution take place
by blessing and releasing
the anger pent up inside.
Cleanse my spirit and make
pure the palate that paints
my emotions to the people who
experience them.

Let me scream, making my
angry voice heard far into the
night and long after dawn has
broken. Let the pain of my throat
replace the pain of my heart
for the physical pain is a
lesser evil. And after I have
vented my frustration, I will feel spent.
Let me sleep. Let me experience the
absolute peace that sleep may bring
and let me sense the calm rhythm
of my body releasing a thunderstorm.
Let me dream…

These poems were both written the summer after my senior year of high school, when I was young and angsty and into this sort of stuff. In fact, I wrote an entire pile of complete and utter crap anthology.

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