with quotes from the Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
The towers on Sandia Crest transmit
through sunset in some other home, Smokey
Bear is dead like a pop song
on a distant radio I keep
toying with the dials flipping the brights in a code
here no one remembers the first fire,
distant suns or one close star.
Who are the cacti, the Rio, and the Sandias?
What continues to move us? A roaming spot
passed through me. Carl Sagan’s singing blues
for a Sunday afternoon on the red
planet, when our laments were uncategorized.
Not far from here we have buried plutonium
in a tight vault our historians erected
a sign: “This is not a place of honor,
not a holy landmark. Nothing valued is here.
The danger is still present in your time
as it was in ours.”
Only the finished places are shunned.