we all have chernobyl in our lungs

we all have chernobyl in our lungs

we children of catastrophe
cannot sleep
focused on fissures

who left us to die?
those close enough to slip away instantly?
those poisoned
coming apart in the cells?
those willing to risk it all?

the salt sea and fertile loam
can still taste that bitter
and radioactive dust

that slow, invisible ash:
our future

what cannot be contained
becomes us
what i mean is
we all have a cancer now
within us, or between us
in our own bodies
in our structures
in the bodies we love
in the structures we need

directly in our bones
creating rocks from our softest tissues
pitting thyroids and prostates against us
strangeness creeps into us
equal parts violation and colonization
flags of disaster
on each play

now, that contaminated soil
is on the road between the reckless
and the wreck
and in my body i feel the earth
wishing for respite

we all have nuclear bodies
in search of remediation
our bodies cannot hold
this much rage
this much greed

earth does not consent to the violation of war
we do not consent


those who have read this blog for a while know that my military family was stationed in Japan for several years, during which i visited many many times and fell in love with many of the people, the places.

someday i’ll write about the complexity of my military experiences, but for now i just want to say that i keep going back and forth between memories of the people there, who have been through so much nuclear pain and death already; anger at the combination of cosmic and manmade forces that created this particular moment of tragedy; and praying.

my kind of praying is a bit different, perhaps. i’m speaking to the shiver in my spine when i feel connected to others – praying that humanity feels connected to Japan, and doesn’t abandon the people or the beautiful place in this hour of need when they need all of us to hold the space for what has already been taken, and what suffering will come from the ongoing nuclear crisis – for them and for all of us.