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Based on a painting, "Nuclear Puppies", by Julie Nagel, 2001*
You’re a mutant, you know—
got funny dog babies sprouting
out of your head like they were
ears. Those copies of your face
look up at a sky of ashy gray,
perked and tense. Are you listening
to yourself? What choir
of dog-eared deformities
sings to you? Maybe they should have
howled louder before we dropped The Bomb.
Maybe the yellow caterwaul of their
melting butter bodies would have stayed our hand.
I doubt it though.
This is what we do. We burn things.
We tinker, adding and subtracting until
what’s left is blasphemy—until what’s left is
you. A yellow almost-dog, a sagging
body with melted flesh where there should
be fur. Sad monster; beg your alms
from the atomic Frankensteins who made you.
Your skyward eyes are bright, still happy
anywhere but here. But your abominable
body lies here staring into gray space with
Alpo still sticky on your nose, wet, brown snow.
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