Oyster Boy Review 06  
  January 1997
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» Levee 67


The Mad Girl Reads the Retired General's Account of Hiroshima the Day the Sky was Bleached a Bright White

Lyn Lifshin

that they never were supposed to call it
the bomb but a gadget or gimmick, how they
practiced that summer like boys in a circle
jerk she thinks, dropping replicas

of bombs, called them little pumpkins.
She reads how they were up before sun
rise, the crystal sky clear, a huge red
ball of rising sun and how he watched

the Enola Gay slowly open its bay doors,
and let go, thinking "it's too late now,
there's no string attached, there's
no way to bring it back." It starts

sounding like he's talking about an
orgasm, it seems weird. The way it's
out there. She reads mission as emission,
begins to think only a penis or

someone connected to one could get in
to this in these terms: "the tail
shaking thru superheated air, the
vertical cloud rising upward."

Sure sounds sexual, she thinks. Even
the term Little Boy, that gun
barrel-like cylinder she wouldn't resist
having for a day to feel what

it would be like to hit the target,
start the chain reaction. With a
dick for a day she might get a sense
of what it felt like, that ride

on what could vaporize, her
hand on the throttle, shifting for herself
as she holds the course with a lot
of flak around her as she lurches,

lets go—everything below bursting, all
flash and fire, blinding lights and
trembling in waves that just keep coming.