Peter Balakian: Los Alamos, New Mexico

from “Pueblo, Christmas Dance”

My car took the curve of a curve,
just past the exit to Los Alamos

where Oppenheimer said the infinite imploded finite space—
though he couldn’t have imagined

the atom pressed into the cave inside the mesa
that opened into the buffalo

who could turn into a bear,
who could be the beast.

About the Author

Peter Balakian

Peter Balakian is the author of Ziggurat, June-tree: New and Selected Poems 1974-2000, Black Dog of Fate, and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning Ozone Journal. He was also awarded the PEN/Martha Albrand award for memoir. Balakian is the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor in Humanities and professor of English at Colgate University.

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