For Veronica

For Veronica

 

I had to choose,

had to open

the bomb bay doors,

hear the whistle

of the bomb drop

on ground zero

in my own heart.

My great city

burst in a flash.

My wings caught flame.

 

Marble statues

and golden shrines

shattered and burned.

Running children

were blown to dust.

The mountains split.

I crashed headlong

to the river,

and swam panting

from the black cloud.

 

I do not know

how many days

have passed, and I

no longer know

how I will count

lone tomorrows

when you were once

my calendar.

Beached in rubble,

I can barely breathe.

The flash returns

with every blink.

But then I squint:

the dawning sun

outshines the bomb.

I clutch for bricks

and start to stack.

Soon I must stand

to build the wall—

brick by chipped brick.

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