Tuesday, April 05, 2005

On Saving Hans Bethe—a fragment from long poem, "Californium"



I was holding the hand of Hiroshima,
I was palming the damaged workers
in the holes of a nuclear hell.
I was holding a frail nation
up by the arm, propping
aristocracy up by the delicate
wrist. My covetous place
finally, firmly in lockstep
with the withered Age
of Reason. Here,
take my hand,
talk of peace,
the Big Bang
and the Final Dis-
I have only dishwater to waste,
what we do with our hands & heart,
as we take a serious trajectory
through a vaguing past
and the fairied future,
as we weave in slo-mo
through the impatient face
of now in its shimmering
vehicles. Let it wait.
Let me clutch the hand that
drove us into space. Let me
guide the calculation of the race
to his place of rest, into
the formula of fusion and the
fission of our final desti-
nation. Wait.



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