Astatine (AT)

by Emmae Thomasson


I remember when there were 437 grams on earth of you.


A drug lab in your closet

and your blood is thin as ice.

You say you do them to perceive

but I think you do them to entice.


The clear bottles are just solvents

but the black ones you salute.

You told me acid showed you God

like the snake showed Eve the fruit.


Eyes wild with nature’s paradigm--

you couldn’t get enough and,

in pining to amend this world,

you created your own secluded land.


Running on your own fumes,

I wonder if you ever knew:

you made all the chemicals

that remade you.


I wonder how the object of your studies,

came to merit your uncommon trust,

and on what dark night their hollow fingers

expired of you with traitorous thrust.


Because now, there are just 31 grams on earth of you,

you, the rarest element on the periodic table.

And all that is left are your Astatine ashes,

which lie dead in that closet, by the fiber optic cable.

Thumbnail image by Amelia Stanford.