Bowl’s Best Friend
Did you know that glass can store all acids but one?
Hydrofluoric acid eats glass up.
It’s called corrosion in chemistry.
Interesting sound: co-rro-sion,
and interestingly, it reduces weight.
What’s more, this villain of an acid
causes permanent tissue death on contact.
Hydrochloric acid is harmless, comparatively.
It’s stored in glass bottles, you see!
It’s a cousin of hydrofluoric, yes but does nothing
sinister: no glass corrosion nor permanent tissue death.
It’s so harmless that it’s produced and stored
in every body of every nation, in all civilizations
where humans have a stomach.
What does it do there?
It kills microbes there and does something to protein:
‘denature’ is the word in zoology.
Interesting sound: de-na-ture,
and interestingly, it’s natural.
It’s a good friend, this hydrochloric acid.
It’s a good servant too.
It can’t corrode glass and stomach wall
but does a good job over toilet bowls.
Corrosion gives the surface sheen,
removes the outermost layer in direct contact
with the world and filth with it.
To combine chemistry with zoology,
This mild ‘friendly’ thing denatures, corrodes,
combines with epidermal water,
releases heat, a lot of it, and severely burns
the largest organ in human body.
The standard instructions for its splash (accidental)
on skin are: ‘gently wipe it off, flush with water
and cover the area with a cloth moistened with baking soda’.
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh,
Uganda, Cambodia, Afghanistan,
Palestine, France, Israel,
Iran, Zanzibar, Indonesia,
Greece, China and UK,
man’s best friend has at least one active and direct use.
Revenge is the motive that malignity cites in confessions
and statements later, much later. So proves the self-justified rage,
of the self-righteous man, yes it’s always a man
who throws hydrochloric acid, the friendly, harmless servant of mankind,
and burns layers, fifteen to twenty, of epidermis,
generally of a woman’s face, in all the countries
where its active and direct use is reported.
Nobody thought of writing instructions
against its more direct (active, planned and common) use.
Rajnish Mishra is a poet, writer, translator and blogger born and brought up in Varanasi, India. He is the editor of PPP Ezine, a poetry ezine. He has a blog on poetry, poetics and aesthetic pleasure: https:/poetrypoeticspleasure.wordpress.com.