Journalism In Verse

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Chernobyl

in Culture by

The core is gone, say the engineers who saw
with their own eyes. You’re wrong, say
the party hacks, and the Geiger counters, flawed
to a one. To stop the spread of lies, the army

stands by. Think carefully what
you say. —They say little, coughing
up their lungs, bleeding from what
were hands and thighs, skin sloughing

clean away. A rain of ash falls
on Pripyat. The children dance in it like snow,
whole families gathered, not at all
suspecting death in every flake, no

idea of their fate—offered up in the name
of the People, the State, the great game.

________

Devon Balwit‘s most recent collection is titled A Brief Way to Identify a Body (Ursus Americanus Press). Her individual poems can be found here as well as in Jet Fuel, The Worcester Review, The Cincinnati Review, Tampa Review, Apt (long-form issue), Tule Review, Grist, Rattle, and Oxidant Engine among others.

 

Photo of Priyapat by Egor Padalka.
________

 

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