I live in the Northeastern U.S. where I work as a barista in addition to writing, caffeinating myself and others on a daily basis. I got my BA in Creative Writing from Albertus Magnus College and have been published three times in their literary magazine Breakwater. I am also the author of four fantasy novels, A Dewdrop Away and the Dewdrop Prequel Trilogy, all of which can be found on Amazon.com. You can find some of my ramblings on writing, along with occasional book reviews and poetry, over at www.caallenblog.com.
a dam burst and flooded a town;
the man who received the telegraph to evacuate and ignored it
put a gun to his head in the cold bite of the air under
the overhang of his roof two afternoons hence.
(the first part of this story is true.
the second I only imagine.
because how could such guilt not kill a man?
how could such a weight not cripple him
where he stood?)
there was no deus ex machina to pull him from
the rubble of his broken mind,
no television set to turn on, no flickering
images on the walls to ward him off
there was only the image of all their faces,
the rough baptism of a lonely town,
and the knowledge that it could have been
by the press of a button.
by a series of clicks.
a single raw, spoken
(there was so much he might have been if
he hadn’t made the unmove that separated him
from quiet eternity.
if he didn’t hear their screams.)
I’ve kept you
in various places
and I have watched these places
like I watch the lights outside my
window, and the long fall
to the concrete below.
I’ve kept you in the tales I’ve told,
those silver-white ephemeral spinnings,
reflected in the shadow of a 40 watt bulb.
the best stories, I was told,
have no foreseeable beginning
I’ve kept you like a masterpiece,
like my first and last great creative effort.
I hold you up beside my face
in a hotel mirror and observe the dissonance,
I’ve kept you close to me, alone with a
set of keys that knows the shape of
my fingers, blankets that know my
thirst for comfort, and a few choice songs
I’ve kept you with me,
so that when I die I’ll carry you with me,
into the earth, that first of ancient wombs,
and away from the sounds of the wind,
and the rain,
and the unkept promises between souls.
driving through New Haven
the slow strokes of the woman’s voice
on the radio, the snow rushing by outside as the truck
charges into it, the night hanging
bright and heart wrenchingly promising
each door we pass, I wonder.
the autumn decorations, the squares
of yellow light, housing presence
or waiting for a return.
when we went through the suburban streets I felt
like sucking up the quiet of each
taking with me the startling intricacies of
every life within (I bet they bleed as red as
to be born again.
to reach an understanding of this life that transcends
to spend forty days and forty nights not knowing
or touching yourself until the forty-first dawn.
to fall in love with everything you see just because
you saw it.
to not know the end of the poem.
to know the poem has no end.)
©2015 C.A. Allen