Jeffrey Allen

The End of the




Today somebody doomsdays  somebody infinitys    Somebody   becomes the grass between

a cow’s teeth  somebody is stuck    to black lips   The sun   full of laughter

bounces crabapples   off the moon    again   the world ends       kicks a little pebble

that ends up   in your shoe       Today     somebody learns from it         leans back

in a leather chair   adjusts spectacles    Somebody drives to work   Today    somebody

knows more than you    put away your rifle    see bones in your coffee

move to the desert  and bring God like a winter



I took the train to work   put my glasses in my lap



I closed a book   and that was enough




When we all gathered

in the room that was

emptied of you

and went through your things,

I didn’t want to admit

we had both lost

our rings

so when your mother

asked if this was it,

I said yes.

She kept the most

secret book

to herself

(it might have been blue

or yellow)

and only ever

showed me one sun

from its pages.

It was fingertips

digging sharps things

from the fibers

of the carpet,

plastic sheets,

and a suitcase

full of fresh water.

It bit like a piano

and bled me for miles,

but I can finally

now say that

it was good.




You were thrown

down in the street

by a kid on a skateboard,

his face a peel of moon,

light thrown away in the dark.

Dan couldn’t find him,

he lost his machete.

I lost my license

but drove us to the hospital,

your ankles in the backseat

and your hair in my eyes.

You stole crutches

and wrote words

on my fingers to be

stamped on the wheel.

I stole blue flowers and

wrote music with the engine.

I wanted to believe doctors,

but their spectacles were made

of hope, and sat dark in their pockets.

I decided to believe you

and the coming winter,

the way ink fades in the sun.

I am an ambulance driver,

the groan of growing roots

my siren.




JEFFREY ALLEN is the author of bone and diamond (H_NGM_N Books, 2013) and Simple Universal (Bronze Man Books, 2007) and holds an MFA in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Another Chicago MagazineCutBank, Forklift Ohio, H_NGM_N, LEVELERand TriQuarterlyHe is the Poetry Editor of phantom limban online poetry magazine and the Educational Outreach Coordinator for H_NGM_N.