Gallium has 31 protons, melts at 87.57 degrees Fahrenheit
and shines like the sun of the ancient world. Scientists
used to mold the metal into teaspoons and
laugh themselves smaller and smaller into their
starched white lab coats
as their friends stirred silver
into chamomile and lemon.
They tell you it was all oceans and darkness
before the world knew its name, but
it was gallium. Singing silver-white
and soft like a carton of ice cream
forgotten on the counter.
Your father, the inventor,
your father, the cleft-lip, your
should have known. Known about
gallium and melting points and
dopamine and gamma-amino butyric acid,
and your lack of impulse control.
Our father who cut the universe
from his belly, whose pancreas is heaven
who hates pistachios and Jeopardy, hail!
Hail! Hail! I don’t care, whatever
you like, this is your myth after all, you’re the one
with the smoldering incense, with the oracle-eyes,
the gallium bones, the mouth that can’t stop
vomiting prophesies, who can’t speak
This my benediction, this my world of metal oceans, this my myth
with its body against yours: You move slowly
through the world, so unquiet, so restless, so new,
with hands that flutter up then down
like workmen scurrying over invisible mile-high ladders
My Icarus, my gallium boy,
you should have known better. Come,
let me take you in my arms
and melt the wax in your wings.