H O W   D O   W E   A L W A Y S   E N D   U P   A T   T H E   S A M E   P A R T I E S   II

Every seven minutes, a lull
and the awful lot of things on this earth to give up on:         

younger men, the apocalypse, the double stitch
on a quality garment. If you skip that track again

the way you skip towns, I won’t follow. You’re outside already 
smoking someone else’s cigarettes and not even 

your brand—you told me what your brand was and it wasn’t 
a woman with a one-syllable name. I am supposed to understand

just about everything; the lean comfort and what I want,
and mist, how we ended our suffering

at the tail of a stiffly rolled joint. Love me,
says the universe. Open your legs already, says me.

​O R A N G E   M O O N   O V E R   J O H N S O N

Low in the sky like love drunk
or regular drunk, whatever spirits
made you bark and howl

as the moon silvered on.
Havisham paced for years
before the fire came, trailing

her train as a snow-plough, raised
dust banks along every unused
room. I had no hand to grip to know

what is small about me, 
why I construct pyramids
from discarded pistachio shells,

the shredded fans I make
of any paper left in my pale
hands. The river ploughs through

granite leavings, what man thought
to be rid of under covered bridges: 
an old red door, dozens of road signs, 

the twisted spine of a sled 
nose deep in the stream, busted
windows which the painters 

heal in their rendering, revisionists
who give up desirables to thrift, 
and all else to water. 

Kenzie Allen is a descendant of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, and she is a graduate of the Helen Zell Writers' Program at the University of Michigan. Her work has appeared in Sonora Review, The Iowa Review, Drunken Boat, Word Riot, Apogee, SOFTBLOW, The Puritan, and elsewhere, and she is the managing editor of the Anthropoid collective. She lives in Norway, was born in West Texas, and tumbleweeds around with frequency.

K E N Z I E    A L L E N

​​H E R M E N E U T I C   C H A O S   J O U R N A L