Elugelab Island is Missing
(from a report by the Atomic Commission to President Eisenhower
on the first H-bomb explosion, 1952.)
The sun doesn’t care, one less atoll
to warm; sighs for its own obsolescence
a cloud-roiled afternoon. The ocean
raises a guard of honour, white-cap salute:
codename, ‘Ivy Mike,’ the moniker
of a friendly neighbour who changes
the rules played by over fence and gate,
unmaps our house, backyard, a ball
of light, our place lost now to Mercator.
‘It’s a boy’: the secret annunciation,
an heir that stops time itself, even
coral vapourises, flows to steam,
an ash and dust cloud thirty high,
one hundred miles across, is
all that remains of Elugelab, a crater
deep as a twenty-storey skyscaper,
a mile wide tumour of magma.
At storm’s eye, the new element appears:
alchemy. All else destroyed in the inferno,
a silver-grey transuranium is re-imagined.
Apocalypse dust, named for a Jew
fleeing Mussolini, Enrico Fermi. Dodging
fascisti for the Windy City, his the whirlwind
of the chain-reaction under the University
of Chicago, lost vision, Elugelab.
Kven Evans gained a Distinction in a Poetry Master’s at Manchester University’s Centre for New Writing. His work has been longlisted in the UK Poetry Society’s National Competition; highly-commended in the Bridport Prize and shortlisted in the Troubadour Competition. His draft debut collection was shortlisted in Bare Fiction’s awards and the Poetry School/Nine Arches ‘Primers’ selection. Individual poems have appeared in The Interpreter’s House, Obsessed with Pipework, Envoi, and Ink. Sweat & Tears.