Chernobyl had its time
as a beautiful thing, until
its fragile steel and ceramic tile
broke under the strain of
It had its time when the Soviets
came rushing in
wearing nothing but
rubber boots and cotton sheets.
It collected souls.
It swallowed them whole.
It made its own power
a new machine churning
under the blue Cherenkov light
making new energies from
what it should never have taken.
It had its time as a seductive beast
a Medusa hungering in the night
before Perseus placed his heavy
silver helmet over her curls
and made her a warning sign.