and a small girl, brown hair airborne like a Nike
swoosh, and to the West, the atom bomb
explodes, a whoosh of fire on a quest to take me
out, and nipping at my clever heels which feel
the singe, now I’m a madman, fleetfoot hurdler, fleeing
murder, oh, I wish you could have heard her, skipping
fences in a single leap. The town’s a heap of ashes,
a fringe of flame that lashes— that’s the world’s end
at my back, there’s the water with its final, breathless grave.
Why no eros without thanatos? Why am I slave
to both? I couldn’t let her drown. With nowhere left
to go, the fire in pursuit, the root of everything,
I turned her south: my life will not be swallowed
by my psyche’s awful mouth.