Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons : Explanation

by Anna Leahy

It’s as if the universe had a barbeque;

we can still hear the meat sizzling, the smell

of what’s been charred wafting from the Big Bang.

But that’s not exactly what happened.

The trochaic name on my tongue makes me think:

a ring of fragrance emerges on many occasions.

It’s Earth that’s had the bash for itself,

flipping coal and oil and tar on the grill,

the smoky scent too enticing.

One rock’s toxin is the universe’s catalyst.

Dust to dust. Far away, the interstellar stuff

cast into stellar winds, a red giant’s leftovers:

origin and invitation, a planet, perchance life.