Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

R. A. Allen


It's true I missed your sweet sixteen,
but an insurgency had erupted across
the county line on the day before.
The son et lumière of battlefield
ordnance gave me terminal insomnia.
And though truce was declared the next
morning, I still slept through my alarm.
  Damned sorry.

Your kid's bar/bat mitzvah
was in a bad part of town,
plus it violated my Orthodox
Uber driver's eruv, so he
dropped me at the G train station
with a nominal refund. The
turnstiles refused his bitcoins.
  What was I to do?

My breakfast blunder was to
cremate a head of cabbage
in your microwave after a
night of dissociative love-making.
Indemnity for the fetid aftermath
of this culinary oversight
(which will linger like a
Chernobyl of vomit)
is not covered in the hazmat
rider of my trust fund.
  I will fire my lawyer tomorrow!

Yes, yes, I disregarded your funeral.
I am allergic to chrysanthemums.
Mourning does not become me.
Neither does black.
I am not a necrophiliac.
I am put off by ghosts, especially yours,
which may tend to haunt me if we
ever meet up in the Far Perhaps.

R. A. Allen's poetry has appeared in the New York Quarterly, Night Train, RHINO Poetry, The Penn Review, Amuse-Bouche, Gravel, and elsewhere. He has one Pushcart nomination for poetry and one Best of the Web nomination for fiction. He lives in Memphis, the self-storage capital of the United States. More at