Dead Love: Post Apocalyptic Raga

Sometimes the attraction is purely chemical. Sound, color, raga—here’s my poem for a new year …

Post Apocalyptic Raga

In this bloody barbecue of a sunset
gulls sweep over the salt sea
where it has turned incarnadine,
like manganese chloride tetrahydrate,
not like flamingos,
like iron.

There is a smell in the air of nitrates.
The lake has a head on it—foaming and poisonous,
and the skies brood over us,
a simmering cauldron—
strontium red at night,
yellow madder by day.

—Erin Orison, DEAD LOVE/the Daily Slice