the explosion, all night on the rooftop
of the Sands, sports jackets buttoned, shawls wrapped
tight against the cold and brittle desert air.
Al and I would have preferred martinis
but the girls insisted we drink with them
and they were girls we wanted to please, hoping
they would please us back come morning.
We had seen bombs explode before, Al and I
all up and down the length of Europe
but Artie, testing A-bombs down the road
told us, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, my friends!”
By the time the dawn appeared, a knife edge
on the horizon, Al was dueling tongues
with Doris, my hand was far up Sally’s skirt.
And then the monstrous thing exploded.
The rumble was like a million tanks rolling
across France at once, the wind like as many
bombers whooshing overhead, the light as if
the Earth itself was a cannon muzzle.
And as the monstrous cloud began to rise
like nothing less than Death, himself
I crawled into Sally’s welcome lap
and buried myself in her perfume.
Later, we made love like animals, proving
we, at least, were still alive, unlike the Japs
at Hiroshima and Nagasaki
who suddenly could have been next door.
And when I ejaculated, the white cloud
of my semen mushrooming inside of her
I, who’d said he never wanted children
prayed this explosion would bring new life.