Chlorine by Joseph McGuchan

Chlorine,
You have the whitest smile.
Your hair is bleached, your eyes
are like halogen bulbs.

Chlorine,
In your coat of Iodine purple,
With sylvite jewels surrounding your neck,
Adorned.

Your lips taste of swimming pool water.
Sanitary,
You have to be,
When every man wants to take a dip.

Your makeup makes you look so healthy,
I bet no one in the crowd can see,
The yellow-green upon your cheeks.

Chlorine,
There is plastic in your smile,
Did they tell you that was beautiful?

You drip bleach in your eyes. Chlorine,
They have weaponized you.

Your core has a Bromine stench,
Your heart is like Iodine,
Cold, grey and malleable.
They squeeze it in their hand and watch
It evaporate into purple
Silk,
Smoke.

Chlorine!
You are 35 years old.
Remember when
You were but gas in a boiling tube?
You would have eaten through the glass had they let you.

Oh, your words could ionise nations!
You were so dangerous, so toxic,
Remember how they feared you? Chlorine,
Remember how they chanted your name? Chlorine,
You were a radical, Chlorine!

The thing about a halogen is,
They’re only dangerous in their purest form.
All it took was a few grams of sodium to make a salt of you.

Chlorine,
You were a problem,
They dissolved into solution.
Trapped within the compounds you used to destroy.

You were too desperate to react.