• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 11
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angels’ harps

submerged in a haze of nuclear waves
I am tossed and tumbled into plutonium’s
cavernous maw, a diver into our wreck and ruins
draped in lead lamé, a fall of pewter folds
encases me as I hold my breath, hold
my breath, hold, until my lungs suck
the air, this burning, caustic blast

I exhale a Darth Vader rattle—
what harmonies we have unleashed—
angels’ harps and broken ribs, crushed
bodies, tissues perforated by
a thousand arrows, shards of atomic waste—
flesh melts and resolves itself into a dew—
can the whole world be placed on a respirator?

air ignites
oceans catch fire
we drown in the contrail
of last century’s delusions
our treasures—music, art, poetry
and breath itself, the zephyr of the soul—
tossed onto the tempest pyre