"Bomb Shelter" - Jay Morris


"Bomb Shelter" 
(Jay Morris)

I'll ask you if you think it's possible to love a bomb shelter

You'll ask me why

I'll say it's because that's what I pretend to be

When I feel like the world is closing in on me

My meditative happy space

To meditate or medicate

That is the question

These hands are not my hands

These feet are not my feet

This heart is not my heart

They are the brick and mortar

I bought with my defense budget

This skin is not my skin

It's 7 inches of hard, cold obsidian

To fend off the inevitable irradiation of an erroneous environment

You'll laugh at me because you think I'm making a joke about my dick

I'll tell you not to interrupt my existential crisis

It's serious

It always will be

I'll tell you how some days

Every word said over me

And not to me

Whistles like the mouth of a warhead through the air

Terminal velocity until its detonation of impersonal conversation

Around me

When other eyes register my perimeter and then quickly look away

I feel like the landscape is splintered around me

The bombs go off in my vicinity

Barely missing me


Disguising this test of endurance

As a test of luck

I'll tell you how some nights

I can sit in a room full of people

And feel as desolate

as the aftermath of a nuclear fallout

The ruins of my city

Populated by the inevitable irradiation

This erroneous environment reeks

Of a macabre miasma

The smell of spoiled vintage

And silver aura radiating

Around the halos of skulls long in the tooth

No longer aged and wise

Just decomposing

As our vitality pretends we won't

As our mortality portends we do

I try to ward off the vapor

With the salts and silver smelted in

The enamel of my too short teeth

But they stay rooted in their canals

Guards of show, not of action

Wanting for hands to cover my mouth with

Wanting for feet to walk away

Wanting for a heart to pump life and color

To differentiate me from this silver haze

I have become a macabre monument

To edify this radiated ruin

Populated by you

Fluent in the language of light

Clairvoyant future demystifying the fog

I stood still in

You stand at my barricade

You look me in the eye

Then down at the weeds encroaching on my perimeter

In your presence, the weeds whisper flowers

Forget-me-nots if you’re romantic

Roses if you’re not

You rub your fingers gently along roughness of my rocky walls

Spread your warmth on the coldness of my obsidian facade

Press your lips against my door

Reminding me of my mouth

And with it, newly formed I ask you

Do you think you can love a bomb shelter?

You say yes

I've even made it my home.

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