Inside the mushroom cloud children
chase eggs down an ashed lawn—So competitive!
So American! They win!—wooden spoons against
fine pink shells, blue shells, broken shells amongst
the blades. Here Boy Scouts are always
prepared and each radioactive girl wears lace and tulle
backlit by the blast, sharp as fireworks on the Fourth of July.
When their hair catches fire their mothers—God bless
women with blowouts, tasteful shifts, kevlar vests—
lean for melting eggs, plastic slipping through their fingers.
There’s plenty of time to run for office, time to build
a wall, time for petroleum products and foil wrapped chocolate,
time for long-range missiles and even IEDs. God bless
the NRA. They are making everything great again, glowing,
full of promise and jobs and coal mines, fallout shelters a brand
new industry and every school a charter. Here, each child is armed
for active duty, dusty, high-noon shootouts, each child a silhouette
against the backdrop of a bomb—each child an empty outline, a chalked
outline against an ever-darkening sky. Here vocal-fillers are philosophy,
other people’s houses or plants made from plastic. Flashlights nearing,
the dark keeps secrets, whether campers or armies. These are not myths
but morsels touching, half-breaths of children running across grass.