Poetry 2012 / Volume 43

a handbook to dying on a 3 mile island — Brendan Moore

I’m in love with a
Nuclear Reactor—
Did I tell you?
At least he will hold me
With nuclear arms,
And our kisses will be
Plutonic—
Clean even in waste.

So when I am in love,
It seems I’m radioactive—
When I make love,
I’m in half-life decay—
A body deorbiting a red reactor,
Which speaks in isotopes
Which speaks my mind
In quarks and sparks:

This is but a body—
And I am just a life:
A nose and feet,
A thought and Fate—
A blip in time
With blood to fill & love to spill,
And hopes for body & life.

How to paint the figure?
How to make me real?
Free & frigid—or
Fallout & cancer—
Making my blip a bruise—
On time—on Life—on
The Sun.

How to make a body?
How to be a soul?
A heart which beats,
A brain which throbs—
Are these enough?
Am I—Enough—yet?

Yet I am—yet I see—
I drink & eat & hunt
For love as much as any.
And did I tell you?
I’m dating 3 Mile Island
And Chernobyl,
My very own love disaster—
My very own love redactors—
Made in my image—

Hyper-reactive to the
Human hand, the inhuman
Touch, & the molecular
Buzzard—the nuclear bee—
My atomic prairie,
Where my body breaks

Into smaller lives,
Into more perfect bodies—
The perfecter because not mine,
The diviner because lost from my
Hand–the realer
Because the hand of God.

Not God, but a handsome hand—
A place to rest my head when—
When I am tired—
When I have dreams—
Where I felt real.

How to find my body
In a soul—
A river in rock—
A bride in an oak—
Or fuck-all else you
Need—in a body—
From a life.

This frame will not maintain—
It’s radio-reductive—
It will never stop boiling,
And it will die its half-life
When the klaxon fades,
The alarm is called off—
3 Mile Island is gone,
Your good day done—
And my radioacting is
Complete—

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One thought on “a handbook to dying on a 3 mile island — Brendan Moore

  1. Pingback: Current Issue: Volume 43, Number 1 — Poetry Issue, Fall 2012 | Coe Review

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