Ghosts of Chernobyl
Uncertainty is the stuff any place is made of. In
The abandoned city music is played for the cleaners,
Especially the ones who don’t believe in ghosts. Where
They go into buildings they pull the curtains away
From the windows. The emptiness is extra protection.
Uncertainty fills their ears where music can’t
Reach, where the walls have turned it back against
Itself into cold pockets. Watch: a window breaks.
Two seconds later uncertainty is surgically extracted
By airborne needles. The eye believed more quickly,
But sound came to fill in the cracks. The cleaners go
Forward in their white suits. Somewhere ahead
Is food without the ghosts of teeth, without the weird
Mouths that come down into basements. The deer left.
If they came back the most terrible sound wouldn’t
Be the clack of their feet on the pavement but between,
The choke of Is that you? like a hook in the throat
Would spin ghosts out of every corner.
Scylla took six,
Charybdis took all.
Did you really think
The choice was
The bowl of blood
You brought wasn’t enough
To keep the cyanide
Fingers of the dead
Away. You’ll suck
Of their tailpipes
Whether you want it or not.
The ship is grounded
In the shoals
And soon branches
Will grow from its sails
Across continents, across
The centuries. The force
That pushed the continents
Apart is pushing them back
Together. Auroras and earthquakes
Are only the creak of the rigging.
They’re only the opening,
The collision of whirlpools
Against waterspouts, against
The gale that forms the eye
Of the hurricane.
The only answer
To whether or not you’ll have to board
This ship is you’re a fool
If you believe there was a beginning
When you could have said No.
Between the thousand year leftover
Stick candy and the bad beer
It’s no wonder I’m craving blood.
I’ll extend the food chain
Past ticks, mosquitoes, leeches,
Lampreys, and my brethren bats,
Where my ancestors hail from,
Between the steppes and the Black Sea,
The undead aren’t unknown.
Perhaps that explains the desire,
A craving for proteins closest to my own.
Whatever the reason
Human beings are now in season.