Prypyat night song
GS 1st Annual Poetry Contest Winner
Wind through trees, there are trees (both young ones and old ones),
alder, ash, cherry: thin trees; birch, especially birch.
Beyond intention, silence is here. Several animals die and their bodies
decompose on the ground. The very subtle noise of the body
breaking into its smallest constituent parts, then smaller.
Atomic clock a metronome that keeps the world coinciding, subtlest
kind of movement. A pause that says cesium or iodine. The
elemental poise, the spring.
Sound of a stain on paper or cloth, sound of those who left still running
for their lives against a roar. A fire we had never seen before. Certain
of their skins moved off of them as they ran in a very simple melting,
like watching a person smoothly step out of themselves, until the red
From the sarcophagus echoes of the movement and singing of birds.
Éireann Lorsung is the author of Music For Landing Planes By (2007) and Her Book, both from Milkweed. Other work appears in Colorado Review, DIAGRAM, and Bluestem. She edits 111O (111oh.com) and co-runs MIEL, a micropress (miel-books.com).