Makeshift Morgue

by R.A. Allen


The airplane hangar repurposed, polished concrete floor
checkered with plastic sheeting, each square assigned
to one unfortunate pulled from the rubble of the latest ethnic
cleansing or problem with the climate. Aid workers stand
watch, checklists in hand, waiting for the next wail
of recognition; reporters jostle in to byline today's big story.

Having already roamed the halls of the remaining hospital,
and having visited the improvised shelter in the dockside
warehouse, kith and kin search for their missing
here at the last stop on the edge of nothing
ever being the same

R.A. Allen's poetry has appeared in the New York Quarterly, B O D Y, The Penn Review, RHINO, The Hollins Critic, The Los Angeles Review, Pennine Platform, and elsewhere. His work has been nominated for Best of the Net and two Pushcarts. He has short stories in publications such as The Literary Review, The Barcelona Review, PANK, and Best American Mystery Stories. He lives in Memphis, city of light and sound.