Prose Header

Timewave Zero

Table of Contents

The War Room

by Rebecca Lu Kiernan

One last kiss you taste
Like arrowroot, clove,
Apricot and fire,
Militant calm disaster.
Nuclear launch codes are confirmed.
Our keys are inserted.
Could I shoot you and end this outcome?
Elsewhen that variation has unfurled.
I wish the asteroid would come sooner
To erase us.
Blessed be that this event
Be not trembling between our fingers.
Perhaps the key to my destruction
Is not also the key to yours.
What a clever fail-safe that would be!
You could shoot me.
But there is someone in line
To turn your key and mine.
Our posts are too far apart to kiss.
The designer thought of this!
I knew it would end up this way,
The day after the interrogation
And psychological tests,
You asked, cradling a brandy glass,
“Could you really do it?”
I sighed,
Sprinkling blueberries into pancake batter,
“It is not my job to think.”
We kissed, we cried, we did not blink.

You hand over
Your only key to our home.
How is it possible our fingers do not touch?
You stumble past me
Bumping the buttercream walls
With your bullet-proof suitcases,
Opening our hyacinth-wreathed door,
Zig-zagging into nuclear winter
Without negotiation,
A coat,
Or a splinter.

Copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Lu Kiernan

Home Page