Shannon Tate Jonas

The Underground Film
by Shannon Tate Jonas

We’ve been filming underground
for weeks. Like God, I’ve gone south.

Down here in these tunnels & walls
there is seldom any wind,

but it is down here, when I feel
a breeze brush across me,

inside the whole sound of the wind,
I hear people screaming.

Today, by accident, we interrupted
another movie being made.

I opened the door to a stone room
& two women in clear shower caps

were bathing in a porcelain tub, &
by candlelight, filmed one another.

I closed the door, & backed
away out into the echoing hall

having wished them luck with
their film. A breeze touched my face

at the closing of the door. Color
underground is not redolent,

but fragrant. I’m rarely in a grove.
Days ago we filmed a frantic painter

devising a mural with burnt cork
on a wide stone wall in a large chamber.

The chamber smelled of coffee,
though we could locate none.

Leaving the chamber, I pushed against
the door. There was something on

the other side, pushing back.
This is why, before we began filming, I set

a chair in my yard beneath the magnolia tree
to wait for whatever it is on the other side.

The chair is red & made of wood.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 4.

Shannon Tate JonasShannon Tate Jonas’s book Battle Sleep won the 2014 Brick Road Poetry Press Prize. He has poems in Barrow Street, Cutbank, Diagram, Hotel Amerika, The Iowa Review, and TYPO, among others. He lives in a farmhouse near the town of Homer, Illinois.

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