lucille lang day




The manufacturer's representatives say

a child could throw it against

a wall, or drop it off the roof,

and it wouldn't break.

In fact, it's guaranteed

to be found smooth and shiny

in the wreckage of a plane.


But used as directed

it will vaporize cities.

Whole populations will disappear.

The sky will turn orange.

Even watching from a distance

will melt your eyes

and turn your skin to ash.


Then the sky will turn black

and all the flowers

will return to the earth,

their petals falling in darkness

amid the troubled breathing

of the last warm-bodied creatures

to crouch in the snow.





"The Product Is Safe" is a response to a panel discussion held at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on the safety(!) of nuclear bombs.

lucille lang dayís most recent poetry collection is Infinities (cedar hill publications, 2002). the founder and director of Scarlet Tanager Books, she has been writing poetry since 1971.