Los Alamos, New Mexico

by Sarah Walsh 

Sweet ducklings, gather around and hear your favorite story

Atom Bomb and Eve-- and don’t worry for those of you who

remember the old version, the message hasn’t changed and

we still know who we don’t trust if it’s King James Edition or

3oh!3 Edition and I didn’t find too many dissimilarities in my

own studies, just learned some get trial and error some get trial

by combat some get free trials in the mail after dialing the eight

hundred number of sample-sized nuclear fission to spread as

frosting on their cupcakes. Nuclear Fission: the color of her loves

eyes when he asphyxiates her. This is the progress you’re

given. Later we’ll name a nail polish after it and leave it on your front

porch and I know there are tender things too but I think they did something

to my brain when I was six years old and my mom took me to

put highlights in my hair so I’d be able to collect more rocks hurled

at me on the playground. We would use them to fill our driveway,

our fishtank, my stockings come Christmas. If they hit just make

sure they hit the parts you want to swell. They put a big measuring

cup around my head and I don’t know what they were looking for or inserting

but now sometimes I want to cut off my tongue. Sometimes it’s good

for them and pretty of me, sometimes they need me to keep it. Darling

soldiers gather, the first time a man spoke to me when nobody else

was looking I was in bed with laryngitis-- he taught me about history about

the future about missile launchers about God about me and he was standing

on a podium, broadcasted worldwide live-streaming, spewing recollections

of the time I was sold at a pawnshop, the time I was sentenced to judicial

duel in a mud bath for forgetting to say thank you, promising about the next time

they would inflame my throat. The new afterword, little chickadees, is a Cosmopolitan

article. It’s your first how-to book: build a snowman, use your genitals as a timer

that tells you how often to avert your eyes in conversation to get ahead in the business

world. Progress is linear and it has nothing to do with having the wrong doilies at your dinner

party. It has nothing to do with planning your goddamned Sip & See. It’s cocked

and aimed at heaven and heaven is in Los Alamos, New Mexico, coincidentally--

if you believe in that sort of thing-- not far from the place that I made sure nobody

could ever turn me into Phlebotinum by giving me up to the volcano and afterwards,

the only time a woman spoke to me when nobody else was looking

she licked her fingers to wipe the blood and mushroom cloud smudge from my cheek

and told me to unsee it to plaster my eyes so I would never see it again she told me