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FALL/ WINTER 2017

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Lenny Dellarocca

AFTER THE BLAST

I went out for a loaf of bread. A pack of Lucky Strikes.  On the radio, President Kennedy said the Soviets would not be permitted to keep missiles on Cuba. And then I ran out of gas. I ran out of gas as I was taking a shortcut through a field where I once made love under a distant tree in the middle of nowhere. A blinding light. The sun must have exploded, an egg breaking in the middle of a sizzling pan. Maybe I screamed. There was a blinding light. Is anything left? Nothing is left.  When the world shakes that much everything falls over like toy soldiers in a living room storm.  Everything disappears. Nothing was ever here. I Think I had a woman. Yes, I married a girl from a town that doesn’t exist anymore. I’m not sure it ever did. I can’t remember her name. I can’t remember mine. Were there children? What of the children? Maybe there was a boy or a girl with braces and freckles, who ran to me when I came home. But who gets to go home when the world is smoke in the eyes of god? I kept walking. I kept walking until I forgot to go home, the sky turned white with fear. It was like the afternoon was going to faint. And it did. It’s why I can’t remember anything before the blast. Why my name is stuck somewhere deep inside me like a leaf in the mouth of a man dead three days along the banks of a river. A man without fingerprints whose wallet is full of a washed-out life, blank as this harrowing sky, this sky of ash and hot rain.   How long have I been a ghost in the middle of the world? Why do I keep returning to this landscape empty of answers. I went out for a loaf of bread. I left my car in the middle of America.


 

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