Under the Gun

I turn the fresh-caught mutant trout upon

a stick above the crude-oil flame to cook.

The noxious taste of smoke hangs in the air.

I know the fish will share it, but that's just

how all food tastes these days. A gulp of gin

(at least that's what I call it) cleans my throat.

In times of war, we used to say we lived

"under the gun." A funny phrase, I guess,

in retrospect. The rusted cannon looms

above my head, a silent monument

to mushroom clouds. I take my shelter here,

safe from the weather in the cannon's shade.

The dying crabgrass rustles in the wind,

and as the sun goes down, my radio,

on its last battery, plays the only tape

I saved from my collection that still works:

It's the end of the world as we know it

and I feel fine.