Eight-Fifteen

(a.m.) the city
was split by lightning,
stripped down to bone, and tortured,
its flesh lashed by flames…

suddenly
I was beggared,
wearing the rags of loose skin,
hanging like pockets lined with blood.

I could not see
the earth's incinerator,
its volcanic madness, blinded by hair,
burnt darker than matchsticks
and dusted with soot,

but I could feel
the meltdown in my fingers
like soft beeswax, clasping each other
as though desperate lovers—
lovers in torment,
gnarled in the arms of war.

I had crawled
from among the dying,
the children curled like fetuses
in their mother's wombs, the unborn;

crawled from under the black rain
of suffering, the ill-smell of survival;

a disfigured hope
seen clutching the red-and-white hibiscus
from my mother's kimono
that became part of my flesh.


(Note: 8: 15 a.m., the time on August 6,1945 that the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.)

by Joanne Monte

Other poems of MONTE (17)

Comments (8)

WOW! I'm speechless.
Amazing poetry...a revelation of the ugly side of life!
excellent poem. a terrible event.
a fabulous poem with stunning words.. love it..
A wonderful write. The ravages of war is never a good thing. Unfortunately it must happen sometimes to lead to peace. Great work in describing this event. I am most appreciative.
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