Current Issue Excerpts


The letter.

And soon the trees will be bare again
and someone will bring a letter -
for that was when a letter was important
not just a buzz in your pocket
or a badly digitised classical tune

and you could see the letter coming from some distance off
leaving you time to imagine or fret

so, what was in the letter?
I don't know, but it could be a summons or a confession
or a relative who is already dead
a gesture of love or ending
stretched between opening and reading

if your world should suddenly collapse between finger and thumb
there would be an eternity

and the footsore messenger on the causeway
and the rain breaking open the sky
and the sad trees beginning to sway and moan
postmarked Amsterdam or Berlin.

GARY ALLEN has published eighteen books of poetry, three novels, and a collection of short stories. His most recent poetry book is the long poem Sour Hill, by Greenwich Exchange Publishing, London.

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