shot glass
Issue # 7 May 2012
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Robert W. King

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Father and the Elements

Since he taught chemistry, I knew he knew
how sheer stuff exactly tightened itself

together, what weighed down or buoyed up,
the material nature of thin air.

He took me once to see the periodic table
he'd painted on a classroom wall, a glossy

order of numbers and linked letters,
the electric push and pull of valence.

I understood this was the whole of it
was all I understood, time ahead to learn

how similar, how different, how, charged
opposites, we'd hold the world between us.