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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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COPPER

 

As in: chemical element Cu, atomic

number 29. Ductile, malleable,

reddish orange tarnish

like my hair.

The reason for the blue-green

in turquoise around my neck.

 

With you, despite my attempts

at resistance,

I'm ductile, malleable.

 

Cyprium, cuprum.

Fly with me to Cyprus, please,

island nation where, in Roman times,

copper was mined.

 

The largest mass 

found in 1857 on the Keweenaw

Peninsula in Michigan weighing

four hundred and twenty tons.

Let’s not go there—it’s numbing

cold.

 

Twenty-nine isotopes,

their instabilities, those of verdigris,

those of price, the price of loving you.

 

Chalcolithic, between

Neolithic and Bronze Ages.

 

Alchemy, the liquid way

you come to me: the symbol

for copper, the symbol for the goddess

—it’s how you make me feel.

 

Daguerreotypes,

the Statue of Liberty, ships’ hulls

(protection against barnacles, mussels),

coins, wires, roofs.

 

Copper salts for suicide, blue

blood of mollusks and horseshoe crabs.

 

When you touch me,

the metal’s synthesis within massive stars.


                                     —Susana H. Case

 




http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f0/NatCopper.jpg/1082px-NatCopper.jpg

Jonathan Zande