Sunday, April 14, 2013

Dark Lightning

It turns out thunderstorms produce dark lightning,
intense bursts of X-rays, gamma rays,
made by the same process that generates splintered forks of brilliance.
But dark lightning is invisible,
spheres of radiation that pop like soap bubbles,
dissipate like dandelions,
cannot be caught on kite-strings hung with keys
like baited hooks on upside-down fishing lines.

And this is why we never knew it existed--
not because we could not see it, but because we could not feel it.
No sudden shock rushing down the line
like the voice on the phone that brings bad news. Death in the family.
Dark lightning swelling in your chest, a bubble of hard radiation
that will not burst
until you hang up the phone. Then you feel it.
Suddenly the roof is burning and trees are falling, split apart and blackened
though still, you haven't seen
the strike.

Available! High-Voltage Lines, Knocking from Inside

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