Mercury, a chemical found in crusts
of the Little Blue Dot,
a neurotoxin of the central
nervous system, kidneys, and brain,
as well as a precipitant
of birth defects; mercury, which
we encounter through
fossil fuels, fouled fish, and mining,
when despite our knowledge,
we continue pouring poison into the poor,
infertile earth, separating gold
alchemists once studied
for monatomic balance.
Mercury, messenger of gods,
one of the Dii Consentes, or archaic twelve,
dancing as he does in his goose-feathered sandals
across the encyclopedia pages, crinkled
and ink-stained from third graders
who sought his face before.
Mercury, smallest planet in our solar system,
belongs to the seven naked-eye objects in our stars
along with Venus, Moon, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn,
so as we tilt our telescope to the heavens to seek
alien worlds with elemental stories, I dream
of the wee one’s red true and illusory blue.
Triboluminescence, mechanical lights
made from rubbing, shearing, or cleaving
crystalline structures; but what rubs me
is discovering collision isn’t required
at all; consider the glowing blue
Perhaps vibrations—like a mercurial lover who
remains maniacally close, yet elusively distant,
enough to never touch—thus lifts the crystalline
lattices at play into triboluminescence, shining
lights we need, enveloping the world in preciously
bright energy without shattering its planetary shell.
To discover a new way
to power technological hell
would be the greatest story
messengers would ever tell.