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1945 in sepiaThe boy called “spineless” has a backbone, lost in the rubble
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of Hiroshima, his unfettered hands pulling at maps
and photographs. With worn and radioactive identity, he knows
that the world is a veteran, sick of empathy,
and can look massacre in the eye without blinking.
Hastily the people will cleanse themselves
of alpha particles and corpses they did not touch.
History classrooms will suck the marrow of tragedy, unafflicted,
passing Hiroshima as another word in a textbook.
Still, this rubble-spined boy keeps firm the cast the world removed.
He croons and mumbles on reverence, seeming all too unfelt
by mankind. To the ungrieving populace he writes the postscript of war
on the back of his father’s portrait:
“Does nobody think that maybe, when a tree falls in the forest,
we’re all around to hear it but we just don’t listen?”