In a Chemistry Lab Watching Students Taking a Test

There are so many discreet points,
so many choices,
but this is a protected site,
sanctuary from disorder.
Students rock in their seats
setting off little speeches of sound,
metal against metal,
little nervous dances of the limbs.
It is the intellect running up
against the unknown.
Around us along the walls,
a circle of counters broken
only by the door to the hallway,
Bunsen burners needle-nosed faucets.
Why do I always think of Frankenstein?
of knowledge gone awry?
We are not prevented from doing anything.
A breeze enters,
and the world lets itself in,


William Derge is a poet who lives in the Washington, DC area. His work has been published widely in a number of journals and anthologies. He is the winner of several national and regional awards for poetry and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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