by Lisa Zimmerman
—on a print from Jacob Lawrence’s Hiroshima Series
When God said Let there be light
this is not what He meant.
When Emily Dickinson wrote
Hope is the thing with feathers
she was not thinking of the dead
blackbird on the windowsill of the future,
the family of four caught at breakfast
looking up together at what must have been
an impossible surge of brilliance into the room,
toxic heat so swift they never felt it.
Screen-print, printed in eleven colors
on Somerset soft-white paper does not mean
acceptance of the brief skeletal moment before
the burn of total disintegration. It does mean
the brief skeletal moment.
Lisa Zimmerman’s poems and short stories have appeared in many journals including Apple Valley Review, The Sun, Poet Lore, Cave Wall, Ghost Parachute, and Sweet: A Literary Confection. She’s been nominated for Best of the Net, the Orison Anthology, five times for the Pushcart Prize, and included in the 2020 Best Small Fictions anthology. Her poetry collections include How the Garden Looks from Here (winner of the Violet Reed Haas Award), The Light at the Edge of Everything (Anhinga Press), The Hours I Keep and Sainted (both from Main Street Rag). She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.