Science & Technology
Kirlian Effect
     Russian scientists discovered Kirlian photography during the 1950's.
     It captures light that emanates from objects placed in electromagnetic fields.

Phantom of a leaf
that's what they wrote in their notebooks.

No break in the light,
what was cut away minutes before

still part of the picture.
The leaf perfect, complete—

a ghost x-ray
held up against a square of night.

Look at energy's bones.
You can count them if you want to.

They're all there. Energy's bones
don't break, only shift

along the spectrum from health to sickness,
presence to absence

They say the light shooting off the fingers and toes
of a newborn is blinding

but the man whose face
is falling backwards into his pillow

sleeps in a field of almost total darkness
as if God were standing in the room

dimming his soul. Death only a conduit,
the beating of the heart changed

into ordinary miracles—radios speaking,
phones ringing, coffeemakers clicking on.

If you pull the energy out straight
you can see what a life

looks like after it unravels.
Then you can fasten loss around your neck

or let it drift like a white string
riding the wind of light-boned birds.

Photo Credit:US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Copyright 2008,  Lori Lamothe

Lori Lamothe's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Blackbird, Seattle Review, Literary Mama and other magazines. Her chapbook, Camera Obscura, is available from Finishing Line Press.

<< Previous      Contents      Next   >>