A Painting of Hiroshima ’45

by Konstantin Rega

The birds have returned
brushing away the bandage
of dust over the set-sun city
reed-whistling red on black wings
in a forgotten flocking fury.

They cover it in layers
concealing the daysdaysdays
buried on one another, held
by a skeletal scaffolding display.

In a rectangle of smoky grays
where once fluid limbs
now reflect a petrified reality
the swarm invades congealing
as moonlight in an empty barrel.

Camphor trees burnt
fallen giants in childhood
fairytales—yet even now we still
find their museum-ready remains.

Only a blank canvas
that swallows starlit
streets and sky-fearing
building, captured
by fleeing films of ash
and gritty bone dust
blended by brush.

People have gone blind
though they stop and
consider these charred blotches.

It is its own sunset
unrealized, put a penny
in my pocket, and I
return the scene’s relic
though it has turned away.

I step through the portal
and tumble off
into the stygian waters
of soot and sand, to find
that someone is soon
sketching my own corpse.