THE BUS TO TRINITY: Edward Teller, Physicist

October 1, 2014

Our drab green school bus shudders, shimmies

like an angry rattlesnake

racing south, toward a desert laced

with dangers and mistakes.


I nudge a dozing Serber, risk

his wrath to ask (he knows

the desert) how to treat snake bite.

He snaps, “A fifth of whiskey.”


It’s late. I ought to let him sleep.

But I persist, “And if

our bomb ignites the atmosphere?”

He turns his back. “Two fifths.”