something to sing about after Los Alamos

by Lo Whittington

                                                                                               Dearly beloved

I am gathering my things

after months of living alone.           

This time, it is possible the world has changed again.                         

Being absent from it, as I was, these months

I make no judgement on how that has gone.

when the dis-ease came, I went off course a


         (more than I imagined)

      and went somewhere I hadn’t expected.  

The last time this happened,                             ….we gathered together

after the mutilating “radiance of 1,000 suns”               

burst over us in Los Alamos,

We barely survived

     the consequences of separating 

           Radium  ☢   isotopes

–the nece

                ssary |


  step in the

      advance to |




That time,

we danced briefly before eating death as our regular meal in bomb shelters.

(And I hold my peace on how that went.)

This time after months,

of living within a small, cellular, galaxy,  


         bits           of

           m      c


robes to ourselves

we are ready to emerge.                                    ….to have and to hold

All of us                                                  

entering into the luminous bending fire

of survival, uneasy with new wisdom,

unchanged in our desire                                       ….from this day forward

to be with one another.                                                                      

This time I will go somewhere with you,

to sing about what happened here                      ...until death do us  part.

What else is as useful after such events?

Think what they might have sung at Los Alamos.

Lo Whittington is a writer in Iowa City who has maintained a blog for over ten years on living as a transplanted New Yorker in Iowa. She has participated in various poetry readings in Iowa City and has two pieces forthcoming in the annual Midwest Writing Anthology, These Interesting Times: Surviving 2020. Bill Mazza is a visual artist using chance, duration, and accumulation to reinterpret landscape as a relationship of people to their mediated environments, through painting, performance, and community-building collaborations.

2 thoughts on “something to sing about after Los Alamos

  1. Such a beautiful piece, Lo!
    Thanks for sharing it here, &
    even the lines that have been crossed out are of high value to read; thank you!
    And here I’ve been missing out on these over these months. Enough of that; I am getting on the list!
    Sharon Thomas


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