After the Book Launch

Destroyed temple at Nagasaki, September 24, 1945

A hand with painted nails
bejeweled with gold rings
reaches into a black purse
and drops a chocolate bomb
into my open palm
as full lips say
take, eat
this will dissolve
the world’s pain
devastate suffering
and wipe evil off
the face of the land.

This sweet
so exquisitely wrapped
in cellophane and tied
with a thin red ribbon
thrice about its neck
begins to melt my hand.

So I keep it sealed until I get home
to bury it deep in a hole
under the darkness of my garden
knowing its power to half life
sicken my poetry
deform my words
and radiate a mushroom cloud
in my throat that slowly chokes me
and overtakes all the music
I have left to sing of peace.