Jean Bleakney


for Michael Longley


Keep a steady hand on the burette

towards the end of the reaction:

a single drop of titrant at a time,

the teflon-coated magnet whirring,

so when it finally happens, when

the exact amount required to shift

from one ionic state into another

(that’s the endpoint) has been added,

let it declare itself within the vortex

as a sinuously unravelling skein

(as opposed to a gush) of colour.