Apocalypse with Neighbor [Poetry]

by Brian Clifton

We burned her letter in a pile
of dried grape leaves

Its smoke a dark wet shock
across the sky’s

choking face

She dragged
her dead self down
the sidewalk
by her hair

proving the dead
aren’t too lazy
to move by themselves




That night
our neighbor stood on his porch
and watched us

We wobbled down the iced-over hill

He floated across the street
He pinned her to a tree

and parted her

We all saw

how his fingernails glowed
like each phase of the moon




Later in bed a body

presses itself
into me

all paws and curled spine

She never came back
from her last bath

In the bathroom
among soap scum
and shed skin

our neighbor
opened his jaw
and let the tub

drain down his throat




Brian Clifton lives in Kansas City Missouri. He co-edits Bear Review. His work can be found in: The Laurel Review, CutBank, The Pinch, Southeast Review, Pleiades, and other such magazines.