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The Bunker

(for Gerry Crinnin)

By Jason Irwin

Once inside you could be anywhere:

North Ungava, the South Pole,

or orbiting Saturn’s equatorial zone.

Dark and votive,

books and icons line the walls:

Lorca, W.C. Fields, Shakespeare –

their names are exotic fruits

exploding on our tongues.

The Victrola-like crackle

of Canadian radio,

and the sweet aromas of wood smoke,

cigarettes, beer, infuse the air.

Tangled tales of local lore,

genealogy, poetry

spill from our lips|

as winter’s weight presses down.

JASON IRWIN grew up in Dunkirk and now lives in Pittsburgh. “Watering the Dead,” his first full-length collection, won the 2006/2007 Transcontinental Poetry Prize, and was published in 2008 by Pavement Saw Press. “Some Days It’s A Love Story,” a collection of his earlier work, won the 2005 Slipstream Press Chapbook Prize.