• Nicholas Allen

Lily in the Gilchrist

Nicholas Allen



Illustration by Maca Hepp

... I was sitting in

the Gilchrist in the

corner in the back

there minding myself

when who walks in

but Lily in her

leather-lace coat

and rubber heels

followed there by

a band of rattlers

and cowboys

swinging in

with women

with wings,

teeth flashing like

the snow-stained

lightning behind

them, but what

was I to do

but carry on

drinking rain

and eating smoke?

floorboards thrashing

rumbling now

as the band tumbles

in from the white,

all this in the town

of Paint in the

heart of the desert

mind you, tumbling in

like the flakes

outside the

warp-windowed wall...

suddenly

my glass is hollow

and nothing else to smoke

so up I step on over

to Ray who

fills me up

and slips a pack,

Lily blazing

me a stare

from the other end

and I see my reflection in

her painted nails again

then back in the

corner I see

her blazing all

the other cowboys

as many looks as

she can sell,

and I remember

that smile from

another storm

another place

with bear stew

and her architect son...

yes lightning

blazing like Lily

behind the blizzard,

she striking

Gilchrist’s gloom

for a moment

before abandoning

it again, no more

snowmen, never

an Easter dress, she

leaves her coffee

and camel soup

I see her leave our life behind

and leave with her –

I turn to watch

myself watching us

leave without

me



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