Hiroshima 2018

Places of great horror have the same silence.
It gets fused into the air
Like transparencies of sound, like empty speeches,
Or the half-life of Ground Zero.
It is like a fire that pierces the eyes that see it.
It fills you to the bone. It fills every stone.
It doesn’t matter how long ago,
It’s still happening in Hiroshima.
Enola Gays are flying above the city,
Pilots sighting T-shaped bridges,
The first nuclear bomb dropping…
Compound firestorms incinerating the city,
Becoming ash and cloud and gale-force wind
Like giant angelic beings with blazing wings,
Setting the fires on fire as they pass.
People walking under black rain
Wear the rags of their own melting flesh.
Others have no skin
But seem anatomies spilling tears.
Others, blind, wander nightmare ruins–
And you are one of them,
Drinking in the radiation,
Soaked in their suffering,
Brother and sister to them all,
You are innocent, free to leave,
Though collapsing winds
Draw you back to a burning center.
That’s where we all are.

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