The Scientist’s Siren

Foot 3
By Denise R. Weuve

He stirred a composition of neon,
gold flakes, and silicon
seven times clockwise
and created an antidote

to loneliness–a woman.
When she walked he measured
time by the sway of her hips
and love by the pitch of her voice.

A voice that made copper roses appear
and morning glories crawl up the walls.
She sang praising his hands
how they had balanced life,

and how they lightly pressed
against her back
as he waltzed her around the lab
not paying attention

to the iodine spilled
on the floor.
Yet oxygen in the room
seemed thinner after awhile.

He longed for his work,
moving beakers, attempting to melt
silver and lead at the same temperature.
Her voice made it impossible

to concentrate on creating
another, without a voice.
He put her in the east corner of the room
between Bunsen burners and microscopes

that had lost their magnifying power,
and kept his hands in motion
from acid compounds to liquid golds.
Still she sang,

from not far behind
and it was reassuring
as long as she didn’t
knock over chemicals arranged

in alphabetical order.
The music became softer,
a background to his life,
further removed from her body.

He does not know when she disappeared
but remembers waking in silence.

First appeared in Pearl


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