Museum of Our Mutual Disaster

What you can do on solid ground
You can perform ten feet in the air
Blindfolded: catching your
Partner or flipping on a rotating wheel
High above the crowd. The airialist
Like a distant star
Doesn’t even know
Where she is, or that
She isn’t a woman in silver glitter
But a hydrogen bomb.

Mushroom clouds
Blaze outside of Las Vegas
Here dice roll by themselves
In a bell jar. And the heart
Goes out begging
As if it had never had a roof
To live beneath.
Here is an album
Of Before and After photos
Of J.C. Penny mannequins
Hit by a nuclear blast.

Personal radioactive monitors
Shown one kind of problem
But not all of it—
At the corner of Flamingo
An old man in a wheelchair
Sings a Soul song
A doom town
Is a city the army builds
Out in the desert
Just to destroy it—
Like this one.

Miriam Sagan is the author of 30 books of poetry, memoir, and fiction. She blogs at Miriam's Well -- Read other articles by Miriam, or visit Miriam's website.