Additional Mercury Required

Off To the Mercury Store

The key will turn,

The engine must be wrestled out of submission.

These days, there’s only enough mercury to fill the thermometer to -40.


So you go to the mercury store.

“I need it hotter” you tell the clerk.

“We don’t carry Mercury, sir.”
He says something rude about how this is an “Applebees”.

You scoff, turn on a heel, sending your capes whirling ’round like loyal beasts,

Slapping a parting sting of cold snow into his face.

Outside, you ruefully realize you have burned your bridge to “Double Crunch Bone-In Wings” for only $17.69.


The air outside dances across your exposed skin.

The end of your thumb wells up a silent fire from too much dancing in prior years.

How can you wrest the heat from the sun?

Mason jars and butterfly are spread across the froze-up hood of your Pontiac,
The heavenly father can be seen but not felt.

He, beaming but offering only an empty smile,
A salesman who entreats you to know what could be if,
His briefcase is a hollow vessel.

Your chapped hand flicks the thermometer again.
The seizure of motor skills is all but assured,
But not before you pen a summons to the sun.
Staring up in a frosty delirium,
You wad it up, throwing it high into the air where it might be read.

Time will tell, but you lay down in the snow for a little nap.



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