local_library Gallon Left in the Garage

by Kevin Allen

Published in Issue No. 244 ~ September, 2017

Boredom, a refrain, spoiling for a fight, we mumbled back

parental warnings with hard cider and cigarettes

dangling from our mouths.


Climbing walls, scaling roofs, twisting off bottle caps

in our belly buttons, we became legendary in the back

of the lunch room. Drank in all the wickedness our eyes demanded,

quickly laughed at a life too hard to live down.


We set our bogeymen on fire to watch them writhe in ecstasy,

anguished faces under beds in windowless rooms. Struck a match, tossed it in,

and watched a funnel of fire race through autumn leaves.

Dizzying ashes dropped into our frizzy hair.


Poking through the remains of reed and cottontail

with blackened pieces of bark, a thrill inside a reward

was revealed when we rescued frogs from their petrol rainbow traps.


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Kevin Minh Allen was born Nguyễn Đức Minh on December 5, 1973 near Sài Gòn, Vietnam to a Vietnamese mother and American father who remain unknown to him. He was adopted by a couple from Rochester, NY and grew up in Webster, NY with his two younger sisters. In 2000, he moved to Seattle, WA to pursue a life less ordinary. Kevin has had his poetry published in numerous print and online publications, such as Aileron, HazMat Literary Review, Chrysanthemum, and Eye To The Telescope. Kevin’s first collection of poetry, My Proud Sacrifice¸ was published by Goldfish Press in July 2014.