NEW MEXICO: Motel, Father, Son, We May Be Toast

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NEW MEXICO: Motel, Father, Son, We May Be Toast

13 Air-cooled deluxe cottages, Sound-proof 
garages, glassed-in tile showers, carpeted 
floors, panel ray heat. Quiet--Off Highway. 
Phone: 62 

How bright the flash must have been 
from Trinity, where, as the sign says, 
“...the world’s first nuclear device 
“was exploded on July 16, 1945.” 

NEW MEXICO: Motel, Father, Son, We May Be Toast

Just down the road from 
the devil's head laughing 
in the expanding fireball, 
123 miles across New Mexico-- 
The air-cooled cottages and 
sound-proof garages, 
glassed-in tile showers, 
carpeted floors, 
panel ray heat.... 

On the motel postcard, 
in the upper righthand corner, 
not a mushroom cloud, but 
the Triple A logo. 
It was 1956, and 
the corporate brands 
were beginning to settle 
into the flesh of 
urbanizing herds of cattle, 
scarring the skin 
like smallpox, 
large pox, 
things in a box-- 
beds, TVs, telephones, 
the future rushing in 
like Santa Claus 
engaged in aerial bombardment. 

“Ho! Ho! Ho!” 
from his sled pulled 
by Red-Nosed, mutant, Rudolph. 
From Fat Boy's heat rays 
vaporizing Nagasaki’s paper-thin walls, 
it’s stone, concrete and metal, 
it’s flesh and blood, 
to the Jolly Fat Man 
bringing Barbies and hula hoops, 
Twister, Slip-and-Slide, lawn darts, 
ouija boards, Lionel trains, 
and chemistry sets 
to the eager children 
who would grow up 
to want all the adult versions 
of those toys-- 
dildos, pornography, 
cock rings, Tiffany bracelets, 
phones on which you can 
target and launch 
weapons of mass destruction, 
with the right app. 

We have traveled 
into the hidden corners 
of destruction, 
without knowing 
where we have been. 
Empty-handed in death. 
No matter we be pharaohs 
encased in bejeweled sarcophagi, 
surrounded by family and servants, 
boats, chariots, wagons, 
every imaginable thing 
we might need to live 
in eternal retirement. 
The end strips us, 
peels us like a grape, 
chews us and digests 
our bones, until 
oblivion farts dust. 

We have built a spark of sun 
on our tender earth. 
The burning of lizards, snakes, 
birds, insects, and prairie dogs, 
as we tested bomb after bomb, 
burning and poisoning, 
as though we were ignorant, 
as though we were brave, 
as though we were intelligent, 
when we were none of these things 
and only weeping and shivering 
in fear of the death we held 
in our childish hands.