Mudlark No. 63 (2017)

   in front of a peat bed on the east side of Bryn Mill pipe, a line 
		       of razor clams, churned 
					          out of the waves last night.	
     			        Brown-gold calligraphy on long white shells, most half-crushed.  
	                                      A satisfying angry crunch beneath the boots. 
	Further east, limpets ornament the pipe in front of Victoria Park 
			      at low tide 
				                 (the pipe always smelling slightly of sewage...
                      everything we’re trying to forget — mass extinction, what happened  
				         seconds ago, where things come from, 
							                               where they go — 

					                instantly flushed.)

		                  How call the dead out, the dead that are
		           still alive inside us? And then a sudden flash 
                                                                              of Rocky Flats: 

                                                 production home of plutonium ‘buttons’ (the bomb 
				                             	     that detonated The Bomb).

The government guide pointed to a stretch of concrete (Denver in the distance), said: 
	    “They poured concrete on top of a badly irradiated patch of earth,
			  after the drums were shipped out...” To seal the poison in.
	Several mullein stalks had broken through the concrete, shivered 
                                                                                                slightly in the wind.
	      Everyone looked at each other, confused. “But…there’s cracks in the
      concrete...” And I was born – right there, at the end of the world — ghost sirens
                                                                                      in my head, wind

			          carving a hole in my ear, and emerged, 

                                                                                       newborn and absurd,

		              child of Pluto, eyes quickly learning the dark.

Christien Gholson  | Tidal Flats 11
Contents | Mudlark No. 63 (2017)