That reactor, says Ivan, is deliverance.
Will spawn new words. Chernobylite. I tell him
they will hang us like overalls on his new words -
so they can always find us and put us away.
Ivan is shaking his big head. But think, he says,
of our genius children. They will be called
out of bed by their friends. Just to see them stand
there in nightclothes, a pale blue ember. A splinter
Mario Petrucci’s book-length poem Heavy Water: a poem for Chernobyl won the Daily Telegraph / Arvon Prize for poetry and was adapted for screen by Seventh Art. It will be republished next month to mark the 25th anniversary of the nuclear power plant disaster.