Translations from the Rational

The roofless houses by the roadside drown
in sky the colour of Mercurochrome.
Greener than snow, the acres of limestone
force new beauty from a simple noun
the last of the five elements: bone.
Without a place to rest, the remnant sounds
of aftermath pray to the empty towns
for resurrection from the chromosome.
The distant roses of plutonium
make of the sky a staggering bouquet
turned in upon itself, a cranium
packed with scenes from life, a matinee
of dreams for the millennium,
the lit terrain we called the Milky Way.

Across the bulging, dusk-dark summer storm,
lightning prints a jagged, branching track.
Nostalgia’s not a longing to go back,
nor love of the world a love of form.
Not quite. We glimpse another paradise
obscured by its protective colorations,
but lose it to a flux of short durations.
All that we love, we try to memorize.
Time undermines that love. Each tense collides,
a broken storm of many blossoming.
The nets we throw out drag the wayward tides
for things lost long ago to the water’s rings.
We watch the speckled, paling undersides
of those quick fish, the vanishing evenings.

Chase Twichell

(From The Odds)


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