It’s orange here as morning’s light slips
through the juniper’s blackish branches-the sun is far.
What’s silverado I wonder and look it up but it’s not there,
though silvertongued is and so is quicksilver,
another word for mercury-now the sun is higher.

On the dictionary’s side, in pencil,
some boy wrote I LOVE CHANTEE.
Was his love the kind from afar or
had he kissed her the night before?
Who was the boy if a boy at all?

I examine the book for clues. Copyright 1973.
The computer screen and sky are blue-no matter
the story, it slips out from under. When I was 5,
I begged the dentist for mercury. He gave me
a small container. Then one day I got a fever,
saw mercury rise wild in a thermometer.

Afterwards it was mercury for me
right above mercy in the dictionary-mercury
messenger god, god of thievery.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Karen Chase's poem Mercury

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