Recorded for Poem-a-Day, September 23, 2016.
About this Poem 

“I’ve been thinking about things that are both themselves and their opposites. ‘Electrons’ is part of a manuscript that negotiates this tension, how sometimes the more closely you observe something, the less you understand it. That concept applies literally to the electron, whose location is impossible to measure without disturbing it."
—Ruth Madievsky

Electrons

The eye chews the apple,
sends the brain
an image of the un-apple. Which is similar
to the way I throw my voice
like a Frisbee, like salt
over a shoulder, a birthday party
where someone’s brother
is grilling hot dogs, a little speed
in his blood,
some red balloons. The eye
is the most deceptive
organ in the body.
Followed closely by the hand,
which refuses to accept
that touch comes down
to the repulsion of electrons,
so that when I hold
the hand of the person I love,
mostly I am pushing
him away. Which has something to do
with the striking resemblance
between a bag
of individually wrapped candies
and the human heart.
The sticky glass
of their shattering. How love
can crack like a tooth
kissing a sidewalk,
the way right now someone’s car leapfrogs
a sidewalk, her body
making love to the windshield
and becoming
the windshield. And still the fireflies glow
with their particular sorrow.
The police tape
separating the mind from everything
that is not the mind
proves imaginary. My eyes
find the face
of the person I love
and pull out their fork and knife.

Copyright © 2016 by Ruth Madievsky. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 23, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2016 by Ruth Madievsky. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 23, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Ruth Madievsky

Ruth Madievsky

Ruth Madievsky is the author of Emergency Brake (Tavern Books, 2016).