Tuesday, July 8, 2008


That's not much of a title, I know. The conversation about microwaves causing cancer came up the other night at a bar, and then last night S said we should both write poems about it. Kind of a silly subject, but hey, we work with what we've got.


My friend is afraid to use the microwave.
She thinks it wants to hurt her, says
she’s heard that microwaves cause cancer.

I laugh at her and turn the oven on instead.

I think of the word microwave –
micro meaning small, tiny, microscopic,
waves like lightwaves or soundwaves or
electromagnetic waves, but I’d rather think
of waves in the ocean, lapping the shore,
or hands waving hello. I’ve never been good
with science, or goodbyes.

Those tiny waves as you drive away,
the waves of feelings I can’t explain, the microscopic
ways things change, maybe they do cause cancer,
eating me away inside until I’m blackened
and hollow, an echoing room with the only lightbulb
burned out. I lie in your bed, wilted
and limp, and I want to tell you
that microwaves do cause cancer.

Turn on the oven, light the flame on your stove,
anything but these tiny, invisible, cool little waves.

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