in reply to the poem scribbled on the wall in blue chalk:

i am in a bunker,
the flies have stopped buzzing
and the sun slips through the slits
of cement in the morning now,
much like it did before

the dying of the flies
must be a good thing;
they’ve been the janitorial
after the spill (no janitors means
no more spill; my mother called
this induction)

i enjoy the holes
in my gut now; they remind you
of coffee and biscuits
and coffee and biscuits
remind you of
what’s not all that
important anyway

it is the life of a hermit,
not of spiritual devotion
but of necessity;
(God is a stack of cans
in the corner: baked beans)

there are no more explosions.
the factories are emptied now
and the liquid has all been drained
and recycled into an earth
that does not want it but still takes it
like a woman under the forceful thumb
of her protector and subduer

in a month or two it might be safe
enough for me to shuffle outside;
i might be wrong

but, simply, in response:
no, it is not too late for you

-W.B. Hurst


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