Signs from Chernobyl by John Travelstead

Pripyat: Signs

Oksana says the smallest creatures
change most by what passes through them,
to watch for signs. Hirundo rustica– the brown barn
swallow’s feathers blanch albino like a dove,
counterfeiting hope. Hairs along
the purple spiderwort’s stamen blush pink
with invisible current.

John Travelstead
jtravelsteadJonathan Travelstead served in the Air Force National Guard for six years as a firefighter and currently works as a full-time firefighter for the city of Murphysboro. Having finished his MFA at Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, he now works on an old dirt-bike he hopes will one day get him to the salt flats of Bolivia. He has published work in The Iowa Review and on among others, and his first collection How We Bury Our Dead by Cobalt/Thumbnail Press was released in March 2015.