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Japanese Coastline

Alfonso Manalastas

If we found a way to reverse-engineer
the bomb, to gather all its ammunition
in our cupped and careful hands until
it is small enough to airlift home, will
it also reverse-engineer the bombing?
If grazing through its wreckage was
anything like scooping sand together,
will we come up with ample particles
to rebuild the houses it dissolved? If we

round up every hand that had anything

to do with its invention, every fleeting

thought, every suggestion, will we have

enough people for the search party? If we
manage to find what we lost in the fire,
still bodies in wrecked skin pumiced by
the color of rubble, will the Soul be able
to navigate its way out of the smoke?

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