Open Mic Night at the Atomic Coffee Cup Café

[White Sands, New Mexico: Not every table is taken. There’s a small cluster of people grouped in the back of the room. People are sitting on couches. Slouching. Playing with their phones. A student is working on a spreadsheet of data. The next poet comes up to the makeshift stage. “Hi everyone I’ve only got one poem tonight. It’s my Hiroshima poem and it’s very short; only one sentence really. And I have a couple of footnotes and I know that causes problems so I’ll read the poem first and then the footnotes. Please bear with me. The poem is called, ‘Why the Beautiful is so Easily Forgotten’.”  The poet pauses for a second.]

Why the Beautiful is so Easily Forgotten


Little Boy[1]
falling down
from the sky
               demonstrating Einstein’s
idea
that the laws of nature
are the same
               everywhere[2]
even in the Sun.[3]




[1] Little Boy. The code name of the bomb used against Hiroshima.
[2]  We are the same everywhere. Everywhere remembering the hats of people. Everywhere their arms and legs. Their shirts. The shoes they were wearing, the places they were going, their fingernails, everywhere crossing the street, they had stuff in their pockets, they wore rings, they smoked cigarettes, everywhere their eyes looking up, everywhere their mouths open in suspended silent prayer.
[3] The Sun. Four and a half billion years old and half way through its stellar lifecycle.

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