Academic journal article Field

Atomograd

Academic journal article Field

Atomograd

Article excerpt

Atom City, Ukraine

I. Prypiat Funfair

The locked Ferris wheel arcs

against the horizon,

a honey fungus

flexing its golden gills.

Suspended

from petrified cogs,

the cars seed

the ash trees below

with powdered rust.

Beeswax capsules

loft through dead air

like irradiated spores.

II. Worm Wood Forest

A plume of light

leached sphagnum moss

from the cold bark

of the nuclear forest.

The oak groves steamed;

the black alders flushed ginger.

Hornbeams grew gigantic,

roots and trunks coiling like double yolks.

Each thorny pine, each saxifrage

and small-flowered bitter,

was bulldozed and buried

in a vast fen grave.

The half-life soil

silvered

under its cargo

of nettled atoms;

a corncrake quarried

the fissured stream

for pike, its beak

a carpenter's rasp. …

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