by Ruben Quesada
Forget the oblique optimism of the Atomic Age
seducing us with supersonic skyscrapers, steel
wheels, strong men and their dizzying fire fights. Back-
yard bomb air-raid sirens soaring into shelters; the smell
of diesel and gasoline seeping into bones like steam
as a locomotive migrates toward the sea—a fog of fumes,
ghost and ash, blackened roofs, —America chugging
toward Liberty Island; let the memories come,
the towering lights mirrored on your lips,
the oxidized epithelium of your lungs seizing the air.
Ruben Quesada (MFA, PhD) is author of Next Extinct Mammal, and translator of the early 20th century Spanish poet, Luis Cernuda, Exiled from the Throne of Night. He is Senior Editor of Queen Mob’s Tea House, Contributing Editor at the Chicago Review of Books, Blogger at Ploughshares, and Founder of the Latino Caucus, which meets annually at AWP. His writing and poetry films have been featured at the Poetry Foundation, the Art Institute of Chicago, Best American Poetry blog, The American Poetry Review, Southern Humanities Review, TriQuarterly, Stand, and elsewhere.