By Tom Karlson


August 6th nineteen and forty-five
Enola Gay flies high
bombs away, Little Boy

8:16 one hundred fifty-thousand dead, vaporized
two hundred-thousand Hibakusha,
zombies stagger down streetless streets
silhouetting their dead friends, family
a cityless city
called Hiroshima

on a standing wall an image of
a man, a woman, burned into the brick’s retina

the little haberdasher is not done
“using the bomb is no great decision”

August 9th,
he orders Bockscar to drop Fat Man,
ninety thousand exterminated, vaporized
Hiroshima and Nagasaki will sing no more

Eisenhower “…the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”

MacArthur “…no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.”

“Albert Einstein…President Roosevelt would have forbidden the atomic bombing of Hiroshima had he been alive and that it was probably carried out to end the Pacific war before Russia could participate.”


  1. Anonymous said,

    August 6, 2018 at 16:48

    August 9 to September 2, 1945 the Soviet Union, as negotiated with the Allies, including the United States, defeated the one million strong Japanese army in China (Manchukuo), debatably alone would have ended the war without bombing civilians: “Racing the Enemy”, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, also editor of ” The End of the Pacific War: Reappraisals”. So tell me again why we so righteously abhor the Syrian massacre of civilians in a war. Or why we supply Saudi Arabia with our war planes employed in the massacre of Yemenis.

  2. Virginia Sawaya said,

    August 6, 2018 at 18:55

     I was fifteen years old when this hell on earth took place.  We Americans were not told of the consequences of or the existence of these terrifying atomic weapons.  Not until much later did we even have small hints to the utter destruction and horror that we rained down on innocent people.  To this day 73 years later, I hang my head in shame and hope and pray that this will never again happen.  Forgiveness is too much to ask from the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Peace.

  3. Mei King Hei said,

    August 6, 2018 at 22:18

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not military targets. Both cities were the final victims of an ongoing, willful American policy—to slaughter Japan’s civilian population.

    Truman’s vicious lie, that Hiroshima _was_ “an important Japanese Army base,” belongs with the statistical bovine plop which claims the bombings “saved millions of lives.”

    Magically, America’s indiscriminate, mass execution of civilians, together with the indescribable suffering of the survivors, was converted into a self-righteous act of mercy.

    Culpability for this instant, genocidal holocaust perpetrated by state terrorists, never found its way into the Tokyo War Crimes Trials. America’s “crimes against the human race” (unlike those prosecuted at the Nuremberg Trials) were the fault of the victims.

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