Ceci N’est Pas

This picture’s not a pipe.
That actor’s not a king.
Shadows aren’t anything.
Wax fruit is never ripe,

no matter how well made
or how hungry the sculptor.
It can’t be peeled or pulped or
turned to lemonade.

I’m sorry to inform you:
even the steamiest scene
on the most glowing screen
won’t substantively warm you.

All that I scrawl across
this treacherous blank space
fails to be your sweet face.
This is not a loss.

Austin Allen

Austin Allen

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.
Austin Allen

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Author: Austin Allen

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.