I was awoken at three AM by a call from the lab. Seems they’d isolated a new element, something previously undiscovered called “Rowboatium Four.” Its atomic weight and mass were negligible, but metaphor content was off the scale. I stumbled out of bed and drove right over there, and one cup of coffee later Doctor Phelps was filling me in. “We’ve got it isolated in Chamber Three. All we know so far is that this thing contains a wide spectrum of poetry from Iran, Latvia, Tibet, Romania and India, in translations by a variety of folks including Scott King, Adam J. Sorkin, Shalaka Ghalira and Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. Poets featured include Fereydoun Faryad, Federico García Lorca, Manohar Oak, George S. Vulturescu and Peters Bruveris. There’s also an interview in there with Forest Gander,and another with Ida Novey.” He coughed twice. “Oh yeah, also a poem by Hafiz, ready for readers to translate.” He said metrical analysis had been inconclusive, as most of the poetry was free verse. As he spoke I realized what had to be done: someone had to go in there. I started putting on the lead pajamas and the first few layers of the radiation suit. Doctor Magnuson slapped an EKG onto my head. “Better wear this— we don’t know how you might react to poetry of this kind.” I nodded, strapped the metaphor-meter onto my left arm, and entered the airlock. I could feel the contents of Rowboatium Four pulsing and throbbing behind the thick lead door. “Oxygen levels are a go” I said. And then with a whoosh the door slid open, and I went in.