Two Poems by Alan May


I moved the limp body
out of the road

to the frozen grass
felt the broken spine

of the stray who ate
our table scraps

I was a child
but still I knew

there was nothing
we could do

animals pass away
or go on moving

toward some new danger
I pet the orange cat

next to me now
one of many

here and gone
but all are the one

dark creature
I lay next to

dark body I left
mewing in the cold



The morning ended as usual.
I painted with the color chartreuse.

I made a sandwich out of fire
and ate it as I was driving

around the room in an ancient golf cart.
My understudy, a retired

vice admiral, stared at me
as if I were an assassin

suddenly arriving
with a whole platoon of seahorses.

I stayed in the golf cart. I ate
my goddam sandwich made of flames.


Alan May holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama. He has published three books of poetry. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Hollins Critic, The Idaho Review, New Orleans Review, Interim, The New York Quarterly, Willow Springs, The Laurel Review, and others. He hosts The Beat, a poetry podcast produced by Knox County Public Library.

One thought on “Two Poems by Alan May

  1. I love the whimsy and strangeness of “The Artist at Work,” especially the sandwich of flames & the platoon of seahorses, though of course a poem is a unit & perhaps oughtn’t to be broken into its constituent even in the course of admiring it. So thanks for the whole of this & Monster Poem as well.

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