At school I volunteered
to set the lab stockroom in order.
Sealed in a navy lab coat
I took inventory.
Gathered for disposal
crumbling samples, mystery solutions.
Rewrote acid-rotted labels.
Re-pickled a funnel-web.
Marvelled at copper’s rosy gleam.
Dusted the jar of white phosphorus,
a sullen chunk
stored underwater. Like it,
I felt my power
contained. In time, I would escape
into the air. Go up in flames.