O Hiroshima



“I imbalance the beautiful with destruction,” she whispered.

With central explosions comes the complete euphoria of danger. Humanity’s souls pinpoint beauty, before glass was broken up to 12 miles in the fire storm’s coronation. The hillsides up to a radius of 8,000 feet were scorched, giving them an autumnal appearance.

Her eyes were gamma. Total destruction spread over an area of about 3 square miles. They say: ‘I let it happen because I love her.’ And as we look on – over a fourth of the population was killed – her gamma eyes tell us: ‘no suffering’.

She lies, she lies.

As we released her, the regret was instant. The gold cloud reached out and touched the sky, before we turned so it was out of sight and out of mind. The circular fires were some kind of nature. The conflagration was some kind of soul. Nagasaki became a mixture as radioactive lines traced across the chemical miles.

“But I’ve done it. I won,” she whispers, from the bout of rising flames and rising souls. We can’t stand to look at her, but the complete destruction brings majesty. We know it’s over as gamma rays freeze over the concrete buildings and slowly claim the last survivors.

Another fourth of the population sustained serious injury.

She lies, she lies.

There was nothing we could do to make them change their mind. We released her – 6 Aug 1945 – and wished we took her back. But as soon as we saw her fire storm smile, it was too late.

The central portions of the cities underneath the explosions suffered almost complete destruction. The atomic explosion almost completely destroyed Hiroshima’s identity as a city. All to shatter their pride and to put an end to it all.

“Flash” burns, caused directly by the almost instantaneous radiation of heat and light at the moment of the explosion.

Mechanical injuries caused by collapse of buildings, flying debris, and forcible hurling about of persons struck by the blast pressure waves.

Radiation injuries caused by the instantaneous penetrating radiation (in many respects similar to excessive X-ray exposure) from the nuclear explosion; all of these effective radiations occurred during the first minute after initiation of the explosion, and nearly all occurred during the first second of the explosion.

Her gamma eyes shone like factories far away. As soon as the Japanese skies were blue and clear, they knew the storm came way over the horizon.

And when they failed to fall, we released her again. We would release her again, and again, and again… until they crumbled away and the Japanese hand was forced.

The number of casualties which resulted from the pure blast effect alone (i.e., because of simple pressure) was probably negligible in comparison to that caused by other effects.



Oh, lord, forgive me.

Oh, lord, forgive me.

Oh, Hiroshima.

Forgive me.


Jake Whittaker
Illustration: Claire Palmer



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