Hiroshima, Mon Amour

For Alain Resnais

We mistake our silence for calm,
the instant before end of the world.
You send a bomb to finish this cold war,
so we mark time in a flash of light.
I crawl out of the event horizon,
back to the threshold,
the thin, grim line of your mouth.
I have willed words to your lips,
but they are sealed like a fallout shelter.
My fantasies in full mushroom bloom,
come on, boy, dazzle me
with apocalyptic, last minute
confessions of love.
We consummate at ground zero,
the point of your impact with me.
Call it a tender mercy,
cutting rocks against my spine.
Incinerate me with your parting kiss,
leave nothing but shadows behind.

This poem was written in 1995 after watching Resnais' brilliant film for the first time.


Maureen said…
So evocative, Collin. "We consummate at ground zero" is a stand-out line, and "leave nothing but shadows behind" recalls the ghost images that horrible blast left behind.

An extraordinary film, as is "Night and Fog", which haunted me a long while after I first saw it. Some of its images I can still see.
Collin Kelley said…
Thanks, Maureen. Resnais was a genius. If you've never seen "Last Year at Marienbad" (another inspiration), it's must.

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