Man on Fire III
We learned of bombs in school. Their necessity. Silhouettes on crumbling walls. Our aptitude for wholesale desiccation. Much later I learn that scientists wrung their hands over early experiments. Speculated the schism could set the atmosphere aflame. All the storms raging across all the oceans as inadequate as spit on a campfire that’s jumped its ring. Runs wild in the late summer sun. We are unpredictable more often than not. Admit this and be an animal. We can focus when necessary. They did not teach us this either. As a child, I read about fighting with flamethrowers. I still have nightmares thirty years later. Damp tunnels and caves around the Pacific. Men screaming in and out of the unintelligible dark. A shift. An obstinacy. The light between them so bright it can only be cosmic. The death of something other than us. Inside the earth, the burst is so intense it inhales the humid waiting— an instant desert, save the soil that seeps where he leaned against it—exhales the strangest surrender. They flail under weight and weightlessness and it is unclear which man is screaming.
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