Featured Poem: Gadolinium (Gd) by Christian Gullette




Christian Gullette



Intravenous ions,

metallic complex for the MRI scan, 


                              I watch his body become an interstate 

                                                          of dye-drenched veins, 


contrast agent tracing

             the melanoma gripping the back of his eye.


                            Whatever privacies there are in this body, 


they are different than what he arrived with, 


                                          a body happening 

                                                   as I watch it, 


              microscopic spaces 

                          now paramagnetic, 


coursing with gadolinium, one of the rare-earths


                                          though I’m barely acquainted with the world

                                                        blurring before me.


I pretend to understand these scans.

                                         His brain looks like water 

                                                                    after rinsing a brush


                      or a night view from space,

                                                  the planet’s cities 


phosphorescing grids

              where darkness adheres to the edges.


Christian Gullette’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Kenyon Review, New England Review, Smartish Pace, Western Humanities Review, Meridian, and other journals. He was a finalist for the 2019 Orison Books Poetry Prize, the Iowa Review Poetry Award and a semi-finalist for the Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Contest and the 2019 Verse / Tomaž Šalamun Prize. He also serves as the editor-in-chief of the Cortland Review. Christian recently received his Ph.D. in Scandinavian Languages and Literatures from the University of California, Berkeley, where he is currently a lecturer in translation theory and Scandinavian literature.

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