Published on Academy of American Poets (

My Bright Aluminum Tumblers

Who are you
long legged
woman in my dream
kissing me open mouthed
pressing me for ice
we fetch together naked
from the freezer
with bright aluminum tumblers
red deep blue purple
icy water
so cold it hurts
lips and teeth and membrane
lacy lattices of ice
shattering on our tongues
who are you
how could I have forgotten
my bright aluminum tumblers
I had to hold with both hands
they couldn’t be broken
even if I dropped them
that’s how little I was


Copyright © 2013 by Michael Ryan. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on September 13, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

About this Poem

"Aluminum tumblers— neon-bright, slippery, colder than the liquid inside them—were my first drinking glasses after sippy cups. They were like holding freezing electricity in your hands. Why did they surface fifty-something years later in this erotic dream? The poem doesn’t know, and neither do I, but that is why it’s unpunctuated, which my poems almost never are." —Michael Ryan


Michael Ryan

Born in 1946, the poet Michael Ryan's works have been selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award

Date Published: 2013-09-13

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