sanitized: "This is the fundamental goal of all religious ritual. It does not intend to remove the awesome and threatening aspects of limitless reality altogether. It merely intends to bring us into continuing contact with that reality in familiar, time-tested and hence apparently safe patterns." (Chermis,1986)

falling out: "The hair/comes out in patches. Teeth/break off like matchsticks/at the gumline but the loss/is painless...Weeks later...survivors must expel/day by day in little pisses/the membrane lining of their bladders..." (M. Kumin, from "How to Survive a Nuclear War.")

this museum: The National Atomic Museum was established by the Defense Nuclear Agency in 1969 "as a permanent exhibit of unclassified nuclear weapon shapes and related displays. The exhibits trace the evolution of nuclear weapons from the early 1940s to the near present." Located on Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque, the facility was transferred to the Department of Energy in 1976.

Urania: Daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne, her symbol is the globe and a pair of compasses. "The quality of the emotion surrounding Urania is intense and personal." (Hunter,1989)

Kali: The Hindu goddess who is "Cosmic Power, the totality of the universe, the harmonization of all the pairs of opposites, combining wonderfully the terror of absolute destruction with an impersonal motherly reassurance." (Campbell,1972)

clouds of blood: "It is ghastly now to look around when blood-red clouds are gathering in the sky. The air is being dyed with the blood of men while the maidens of battle are singing." (Onians,1951)

BOMARC: Bo(eing) M(ichigan) A(eronautical) R(esearch) C(enter). This was a cruise missile, or pilotless fighter, built primarily to intercept bombers. The Bomarc saw service from 1960 until 1972.

separate thought: "Other rabbis explain that Adam and Eve were created back to back, joined at their shoulders; then God separated them by a blow with a hatchet or by sawing them in half." (Reik,1973)

MACE: The MGM-13 Mace was an improved version of the Matador cruise missile. The Mace was equipped with a Goodyear ATRAN (Automatic Terrain Recognition and Navigation) guidance system, and could deliver either a nuclear or high explosive warhead.

much admired: "the much-admired Minuteman missile." (Newhouse,1989)

salt: "The disappointments, worries, smarts of mother-complex love--the evening with the photo- graph album, the keepsakes--are ways the psyche produces salt, returning to events in order to turn them into experiences." (Hillman,1982)

backs unfold: "One of the results of a weak serratus is an abnormal prominence of the medial border of the scapula...this is referred to as 'winging' of the scapula." (Hollinshead,1974)

balloons: Albuquerque is host to an annual international hot air balloon festival.