Next time, why not the crocus?
Why not the spoon, the pinwheel, or the plum?
The lowliest token might have and might still become
the lodestar of all focus,
chalice of all desire;
or once more this Dutch bulb (as by a switch
thrown someplace) might ignite a continent-wide itch,
a rage—its stock spike higher,
tremble, and never settle
until a bubble swallowing all the earth
bursts, wiping out entire empires’ worth of worth
without troubling one petal.
Austin Allen’s debut poetry collection, Pleasures of the Game (Waywiser Press, 2016), was awarded the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize. His poetry has appeared in The Yale Review, The Missouri Review, The Sewanee Review, 32 Poems, and other journals. He has taught creative writing at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Cincinnati.
Also by Austin Allen (see all)
- The Philosophers - March 2, 2023
- Ceci N’est Pas - May 24, 2022
- Tulipmania - February 25, 2022