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The Dark Hole Douglas the third is three. He is digging a hole in the sand on the beach at Nags Head. Nearby is Kitty Hawk, where our first plane flew for a hundred yards. Another name is in the air: Hiroshima, a bomb dropping. It sounds like the ocean wind; but the voices are strange, triumphant and horrified. He has no words yet for this mixture of tones. "Does this mean the war has ended?" he asks. "Yes." "Who won?" "We did," his mother tells him. "We have the bomb." Days later his mother is ironing. She asks him, "Will you go up to the dark hole and bring me three coat hangers? They're in a box at the door." The dark hole is the name for the windowless attic. Douglass asks, "Do I have to go?" "No, but you always like to be helpful." "I'll go," he says. Twenty years later they both recall the incident. "When you said we had the atomic bomb," he tells her, "I thought you meant our family did. I thought it must be in the dark hole." He had thought at first it must all be an accident, like when you dropped something you didn't mean to: you were ashamed, and sometimes punished. Fifty years later we still have no words for the confusion of jubilation and horror, for the agony of bodies with flesh hanging in tatters from their shoulder bones; triumphant, the secret fruit of Oak Ridge had ripened, falling from a single plane on an unsuspecting town. Pity for the three-year-old climbing the stairs with silent courage into the terror of catastrophe, into the dark hole where, yes, our entire nation owned and kept the fire-wind of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the atolls and islands, the pasturelands of Utah, other remote and quiet playing fields of a nonexistent war. Virginia Hamilton Adair refused to publish her first collection until she was 83. This is a lovely, timely poem titled "The Dark Hole." It comes from a book titled, Ants on the Melon, which was published by Random House in 1996. If you would like to submit a poem of any length, style, or level of experimentation to be considered for Diptera, please send your poem/s, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope to Diptera, Attn: Lesha Hurliman, 460 Tennessee Street, Suite 200, Memphis, TN 38103. Electronic submissions should be sent to Please include a short bio. Submissions are not limited to Memphis residents. Diptera is not an online literary journal but something more like a bulletin board, and therefore the author retains all rights to the poetry published on Diptera. The poems published on this site can be submitted to any journal without our notification, and we do accept poems that have been previously published as long as we are given a means of obtaining permission to post them. \Dip"te*ra\- An extensive order of insects having only two functional wings and two balancers, as the house fly, mosquito, etc. They have a suctorial proboscis, often including two pairs of sharp organs (mandibles and maxill[ae]) with which they pierce the skin of animals. They undergo a complete metamorphosis, their larv[ae] (called maggots) being usually with

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