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Poem: Chemistry


Patrick T. Reardon


The 1904 book is chemistry formulas

for mixing drinks, and, paging through,

I wonder, if the bartender blueprint

for Whiskey Daisy No. 3 calls for one

wine glass of whiskey, does No. 2 use

half a wine glass or two wine glasses?


In No. 8, is blueberry syrup substituted

for pineapple syrup?


By No. 37, are we talking now of cocoa

and salt?

In the moment before explosion,

when he has raised the gun

and I have seen the metal,

we will be twins

again together

in the womb.

Is this a blueprint for ice cream cake

by No. 184?


For German goulash by No. 586? For the

atom bomb by No. 1,949?


By No. 4,533, is this “Pilgrim’s Progress”?


By No. 65,973, “Summa Theologica”?

The banks tonight are high.

A lone man walks the dark.

He too feels

the pull of the falls.

Is this a map to the treasure, shiver me

timbers, by No. 165,341?.

A route to the Garden of Eden by No.

432,008? A chart to Heaven by No.


The valley is a waiting place,

a place to wait forever.

Does God consult Whiskey Daisy No.

1,856,396 to learn the meaning of life?


Or simply for a stiff drink at the end of

day?  Or the world?


Patrick T. Reardon


This poem originally appeared in Subterranean Blue Poetry, Volume IX Issue V. May, 2021.

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