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A.E. Clark

Primary Blast Effect

Rapid expansion of gas and air at supersonic speeds. For a moment, the shockwave freezes everything in place. A drop in pressure creates a vacuum.

He found our mother's maiden name, her father's out-of-date obituary,
her sister's listing in the white pages, me. No surprise then when
the ringing phone became the sound of blast. Blew me open wide
to be able to say: Hello, little brother.

Tertiary Blast Effect

The body is lifted and slammed into the nearest available surface - buildings, stationary objects, the ground.

The blast wave crushed me so hard against the load-bearing wall
I'd built - OLDEST SISTER, SIBLINGS LOST - I broke apart
along every scar line. Not even the mortar of all the ground down
slough - chiefly, the never-staunched wound and shame - could hold.

Quaternary Blast Effect

Aftermath: Shock, fire, dust and ash.

Because reunion was every superstitious wish I ever made,
I'd've never believed the urge to bolt could be this acute,
but the truth of the blast is the hysterical certainty
it's just too late to lay to rights all the collateral damage.

➥ Bio