by Jan Harris
Jan Elaine Harris is an Associate Professor of English and Writing at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. Her poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in The Halcyone, The Portland ReviewCamasThe RumpusThe Exposition JournalWaxing and Waning, and Event. She lives in Nashville with her spouse and her two perfect GSPs, Malloy and Astrid-June.
Exclusion Zone

in these latter days we have embraced an enigmatic 
vocation    we stand in abandoned cul de sacs and 
radiate love   we are glad of gainful employment 
all the infrastructure we had known collapsed  
  we had to abandon the luxury of occupations 
they are no longer available to us   we miss them 
now we can only radiate love and it is hard labor  
  we stand in cul de sacs point our chests towards 
discarded mc-mansions and their derelict hedges   we 
begin to oscillate with the intractable surge that vibrates 
between our ribs    love pulsates with a ferocious 
diffraction like the nuclear fallout that is still releasing 
in the forests   we cannot know if our work changes 
anything    in hopeful times pop songs told us love 
could move mountains that no mountain could stop love  
 but we admit there is no empirical evidence to support 
that this was ever true   yet rumors persist that deer and 
foxes have returned to Chernobyl’s exclusion zone   that 
wildflowers crowd its meadows    and in its shadows green 
things begin to grow

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