Los Alamos, New Mexico

by Sarah Walsh
Sweet ducklings, gather around and
hear your favorite story Atom Bomb
and Eve—and don’t worry for those
of you who remember the old version,
the message hasn’t changed and we
still know who we don’t trust if it’s King
James Edition or 3oh!3 Edition and I
didn’t find too many dissimilarities in
my own studies, just learned some
get trial and error some get trial by combat
some get free trials in the mail after dialing
the eight hundred number for sample-sized
nuclear fission to spread as frosting
on their cupcakes. Nuclear Fission:
the color of her love’s eyes when
he asphyxiates her. Here’s your Progress.
Later we’ll name a nail polish after it and
leave it on your front porch and I know
there are tender things too but I think
they did something to my brain when I
was six years old and my mom took me
to put highlights in my hair so I’d be
able to collect more rocks hurled at
me on the playground. We would use
them to fill our driveway, our fishtank,
my stocking come Christmas. If they hi
just make sure they hit the parts you want
to swell. They put a big measuring cup
around my head and I don’t know what they
were looking for or inserting but now sometimes
I want to cut off my tongue. Sometimes that’s
good for them and pretty of me, sometimes
they need me to keep it. Darling soldiers gather,
the first time a man spoke to me when
nobody else was looking I was in bed
with laryngitis—he taught me about history
about the future about missile launchers
about God about me and he was standing on
a podium, broadcasted worldwide live-
streaming, spewing recollections
of the time I was sold at a pawnshop,
the time I was sentenced to judicial duel in a
mud bath for forgetting to say thank you,
promising about the next time they would
inflame my naughty throat. The new afterword,
little chickadees, is a Cosmopolitan article. It’s
your first how-to book: build a snowman,
use your genitals as a timer that tells you how
often to avert your eyes in conversation to
get ahead in the business world. Progress
is linear and it has nothing to do with having
the wrong doilies at your dinner party. It
has nothing to do with planning your god-
damned Sip & See. Progress is cocked
and aimed at heaven and heaven is
in Los Alamos, New Mexico, coincidentally—
if you believe in that sort of thing—not far from
the place that I made sure nobody could ever
turn me into Phlebotinum by giving me up to
the volcano and afterwards, the only time a woman
spoke to me when nobody else was looking, she
licked her fingers to wipe the blood and mushroom
cloud smudge from my cheek and told me
to unsee it to plaster my eyes so I would
never see i again she told me