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Atomic Bomb Drills

I’ve grown

scared of the sun-

rise, waiting 

for the flicker of light

against the black

of our horizon. My 

sister and I draw shapes

in the sand, imagining

bows and arrows 

against a fist

of glass. We 

so quickly forget 

ourselves, waiting 

for white phosphorous 

to streak the sky 

like stolen light, our 

recycling of bodies 

becoming timeless. 

Our mother says 

we’re a series of parallel 

lines who cannot 

intersect, she says my sister 

and I must cannibalize 

each other, so one of us 

stays warm. To honor 

the apparitions 

of the war-

torn fields at dusk, we

bow our heads

and drink.


Headshot of Alexandria Peterson

Alexandria Peterson is attending Vanderbilt University as an MFA poetry candidate from Orlando, FL, and currently serves as poetry and social media editor for Nashville Review. She has other work forthcoming in Gulf Coast Journal and Frontier Poetry.