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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 25, No. 4. 1962.

"Hiroshima Mon Amour"

"Hiroshima Mon Amour"

I cried out
In anger at the faces without eyeballs.
Unsubtle emblems of a fate unseen,
Of light bringing darkness ... It was fine that day,
Ten thousand degrees on Peace Square—
And it will happen again.

No longer now the terror that flies by night,
No longer now the dark primeval threat,
No longer the clutch in the stomach pulling tight,
Fear no longer cold but shot with heat:
Those who rest have lost their hopes for the morning
For terror woke in the light of that day's dawning.

Here was the place fifteen years later,
A bright, beautifully designed new civilization,
With bus tours for those with a mind for history
To see the iron stalks of the twisted growth,
Squirming fingers fearful of the sky,
Shaped in nine seconds.

This place and history make of any love affair
An event of international importance,
For since man's light now consumes man
It may be that there in the unmapped region
Of love, which each must cross as best they can,
The light of the world is hidden in the shadows
Of personal relationships. I leapt,
Like air to the blood in an unconsumptive lung,
To a love dark, inexplicable as death.
I wept,
In the knowledge that things felt become memory,
Dead forever.
Outside the cinema the emotionally indolent,
Whistle, pop music, as they get onto buses.

—T. G. Aitken.