Chernobyl zinnias
  Ilona Martonfi

Where should I look for you?

Carried on the wind
small sounds

peasant house built of timber
clay mud oven, dirt floors
in the dead zone
the old village of Gornostaypol:

you’d hear a gate open
of course, we never came back

we had friends and relatives
photos of a first love
that are left on a table
child-size gas masks

radioactive black rain

wild blueberries in marsh bogs.

There is nobody here
to answer the question Kalyna
the buryable and unburyable
did not warn of the danger
in those last days of April

houses of simple people
white concrete sarcophagus
the fertility of nature

moss that grows everywhere.

Where did they take your daughter?
Windows and doors on broken hinges

mutated zinnias, giant dandelions
oval shaped—multiple flower heads

Kalyna, don’t eat the skin of peaches.

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