He never delivered his letters that day

the dark portrait of “Little Boy’s” fruitsNagasaki-verbrannter-bub

still haunts me

my eyes averted to the window

I didn’t want to look

God I wish the sun would go down

Because its brightness mocked the darkness here

But I knew I had to look

For the sake of humanity

both their humanity and mine

shades of black and white

Anything more and my eyes would burn

And my heart would stop

like that time in Delhi at the shrine of a fallen saint

when once again the cold-iron fruits of our violence

seized the moment and affirmed

“Goodness died today”

‘Yomokitu, August, 1945, in memoriam’,

it said in small block letters below

but that part was a mere speck in my eye

because words were silly and pathetic

How could one look at that image

and still?

Skin black like toast you scrape off in the morning…

and still?

Distended, bloated tubes of flesh floating in ashen water…

Look and still?

Did you know they tried to swallow to quench their thirst

But got only fire in return

Look and still?

They tried to find their salvation

from heat too hot to think

From black rain too dark to see

But the water too was poison

But what was not poison that day?

Weren’t even the minds toxic that could unleash this?

and still?

Who asked the woman and child?

whose imprint of their clinging eternally,

rests in concrete

Who asked the animals and trees?

Who asked the old man?

he never delivered his letters that day

his bicycle melted from beneath him


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