Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

David James

Feb 27, 2021 | Poetry | 3 comments

Better Living With Chemistry

‘the presence of lithium in drinking water lowers suicide rates…”
from “Findings,” Harper’s, Nov. 2020

The Metamucil mixed in orange juice

keeps most people
on a regular schedule. The cranberry,
reduced and infused in every jar of jam,
provides antioxidant polyphenols

and limits urinary tract infections to a significant degree.
Prevagen, sprinkled in milk and dairy products,
enhances short-term memory and recall.
Each streetlight in the city sprays endorphins
into the air, making neighbors awestruck

and happy. Studies show that Xanax in the salt
works to calm people down
and reduce anxiety, which is helpful
during this pandemic. Small doses of psychedelics
mixed in yogurt have been found

to help with PTSD and depression. Just one teaspoonful
relieves nightmares and reoccurring dread.
In this chemical world, there’s Ritalin in chocolate, dopamine
in sugar, marijuana injected into every fruit and vegetable.

You can’t help but wonder what’s in that loaf of white bread.

Cry If You Want To

“On average, humans produce 15 to 30 gallons of tears a year.”
Jen McCaffery, “Eye-Opening Facts About Tears”

Who volunteered
to walk around with tiny tear cups taped underneath their eyes
for a whole year
to calculate these numbers?

In the year of COVID,
my guess is the average has risen—
40 to 50 gallons with all the additional deaths
and preventable misery
spreading through the world.

The older I get,
the more I cry, sometimes for no reason.
A song, a memory, something read
can send a tear down my cheek.

If there was an easy method for removing the salt,
think of all the water we could send
to drought-ridden countries—a family of five
could donate over 150 gallons per year.

Scientists claim a tear of joy contains different hormones
than a tear of pain, or a tear of laughter.
I like to believe your tears of love
are rose colored, tinged
with a smidge of blood
from my heart.

David James

David James

David James has published five books, six chapbooks, and has had over thirty one-act plays produced. He teaches writing at Oakland Community College in Michigan, the third coast.


  1. Judi and Rex

    More great ones David, thanks for posting!

    • Patsy Essenmacher

      You sure have a creative mind!

  2. Nancy Day

    Tears of joy and gratitude following vaccination! Thanks Dave.


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