Measuring deadly things

Marlena Chertock

The clocks in their homes don’t tell time,
they measure radiation.

People are afraid of a deadly thing
they can’t see, touch, or smell.

The old Ukraines and Soviets want to die
at home with their radiation sickness.

The government can’t put a dome overtop
to lock in the Zone’s sky, radiation still seeps out.

Note: I’m obsessed with radiation, Chernobyl, nuclear disasters. I think death by invisible poison is insane and terrifying and captivating. I keep writing poems about Chernobyl. They’re never enough. It’s my way to try to understand such catastrophe. Maybe they’ll become a series.


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