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William Heyen – III






Mrs. Aoyama & Mr. Tanimoto of Hiroshima,

my old friends for weeks now, they

of the flash & firestorm, the one instantly translated,

the other ferrying himself & traumatized others

across the water of time into my own time—

I begin already to miss them, do I

I presume to say that she was a good woman, he

a man who could be trusted to spend his last strength

poling us to where trees & lawn & gardens receive

ash & black rain but, nevertheless, survive—

root hairs strengthen & take deeper hold when wind

or atomic shock, from bearable distance,

trembles them. I’ve not seen a photo of either one,

if a photo exists, but have their x-rays

in me. These two in their lives in that city did


not know one another, but do know one another now

by way of such mnemonics as we might hear

as we, dare I say it, sing them? There she is, Mrs. Aoyama,

doing what she’s doing when she disappears

without knowledge of cause & effect. There he is,

Mr. Tanimoto who at first thinks

an earthquake has shuddered Hiroshima & caused fires,

but then realizes God is not to blame

for this which has happened. Leave me, stay with me,

intercede no never not for me, for us,

you two & the others who in their instantaneous disappearance

or prolonged agonies encandle us.

We do confess that history x-rays us as we

repeat to ourselves, as we ready ourselves

for our own sleep among its shadows, Aoyama, Tanimoto.