A Chemistry Student Talks Frankly About Heartache

I learned in lecture
that of the halides,
Iodine is a better leaving group.
Sterics: it’s bigger.
It can better accommodate
a negative charge.
Iodine is happy on its own.
While fluorine,
it loves too intensely.
clutching it’s electrons
close to the nucleus
but eager to share.

To bond
is to feel complete.
F forms shorter, stronger bonds
as if to say,
Please hydrogen,
let me hold you
a little longer.

Yesterday I learned
why we are made
of carbon
oxygen
hydrogen
phosphorous
nitrogen
sulfur.
Good building blocks
are multivalent.
Too much longing
for one thing
would tear us
apart.

October 2011

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