The Neutron Bomb, Afterward

By Brad Aaron Modlin

Just the rain clouds remember how to move 
in this city of rotting bird nests and unfinished bottles
where you and I are the only living things.
Most mornings I watch them alone 

at the window as they float over streets 
of emptied taxicabs. You spend whole days asleep. 

You say you dream of geraniums and mosquitoes, 
my grandmother, the boy who delivered the daily paper. 

We are no longer enough for each other. 

Our words, too, are becoming incomplete; we are afraid 
one of us will finally voice the question.

But haven't we been asking it for generations—
demanding explanation for famine, shattered heirlooms, 
children silenced by ocean floors?

And still, for centuries we have been surprised 
by sudden deafness, bread knives slipping into thumbs. 
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About Brad Aaron Modlin

Brad Aaron Modlin is the author of Everyone at This Party Has Two Names, which won the Cowles Poetry Prize — and the author of Surviving in Drought, a small collection of stories that won The Cupboard's annual contest. His nonfiction has appeared in River Teeth, Florida Review, Fourth Genre, DIAGRAM, and others. He teaches at Missouri Southern.

One Comment

  1. Charanjit Singh
    Posted April 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Very thought provoking poem. My complements Brad!

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