your nuclear moment

the day I kissed you
I almost forgot
your longitude and latitude
losing all sense of orientation
at a critical juncture.
the target was in view
coordinates on paper
and a cluster of lights
in my field of vision.
a flash
and then the steep climb upward
into the clouds
where I could clearly taste
the ashes on your lips.

Paul David Mena
27 October, 1996
Acton, MA

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