Behind the Mushroom

At first we thought it was a snowflake,
but when the glittering tin ball exploded
it eclipsed the eyes of anyone who looked,
creating shockwaves of wind and fire
that sent the dead sailing like boats down the river.
Hands and fingers that would hold babies
or turn pages, simply burned, burned away.
Then white clouds spread over a blue sky,
and cirrus kept blowing like stems of acanthus.
Below the clouds, our city was leveled
and well hid in smoke-grey debris.
Those of us outside the center
had words for what appeared:
Shiitake, Maitake, Bunashimeji, Matsutake, Enoki….
But who had the audacity to make a star on earth?
asked children who protected friends’ bodies.
They were now unidentified mass, writhing flesh, and black.
Held hostage to fire like lumps of coal,
some of us still roam the streets,
our skin falling off in sick strips
revealing muscles that look like cured meat.
All houses blown down by wind wearing the fleece of rams,
forcing the white and black to go snaky
in the television that might still work
to display the Japanese clairvoyant
who holds a geiger, face tilted to sky,
with skin still peeling, saying, You were fated to hurt me,
but it was God that hid behind the mushroom.
He made us see his flaming heart. 

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