Issue Four

Summer 2012


Before the Flood

pace Paul Muldoon

I had no idea what she wanted from me,
my brains or my heart, my love or my liver,

so took in what I could as I slowly uncovered
that classical torso, the simple and supple
truth of it, on which we would both go to town.

The country, meanwhile, was enduring cloudburst
after cloudburst, an irresistible torrent
of floodwater drowning the best and the worst.
I had no idea the unquenchable current

was heading our way, and when I looked down
to check who-knows-what, there was no hint of trouble
in store as my little boat slunk from its culvert

into the wider stream-bed of a river
that was pushing inexorably out to sea.


C. J. Allen