Of all the ministers, all the deputies, the entire congregation of obedient fools, they mistakenly sent the one good man.
-Legasov to Shcherbina at the trial recess, series finale

If they were women, maybe this would be easier.

To declare
their admiration
for each other.

To admit
the ordeal had rendered
a kind of love.

The language
offered by the men
of Chernobyl,

so compressed,
could be mistaken
for a whimper.

To name one
a good man—it's what
we say instead

when our urge
is to curl into his
embrace. Brother

our only louder word.
If we dare name it
at all.

Not more pain. Just another kind.