Allan Rae

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Welcome to my online portfolio, home to what I feel constitutes my best literary nonfiction, poetry, flash fiction, & photography, with links to my published work, as well as the occasional editorial or research update.

Shifting Myths & Equations

The balance of what is salvaged or lost
will always change on a different
equation.

Stepping from Redwood shade under
fierce clarity of a cornflower
blue sky, we run toward it.

It is late July. August, perhaps.

It has been decades since that day.
A day when the air is hot, and still.
But we run on.
He looks down as an infinity of tall
grass grazes my cheek.
Soft grass, wet and new.
I smile in return.
It is not until the
far end of a harlequin
green field do we stop.

Sweat pours, and I am sure
this can’t be right.
From the Redwoods it was
gingerbread brown and gabled
with a porch on one side it
had a tire swing hung from a
tree in the yard.

Now, steps away from the frayed rope
long since broken free of a swing, 
we are silent.

I look up at him, the caverns of his
chest still heaving, hungry for air.

The balance of what is salvaged or lost
will always change on a different
equation.

This is the lesson I will learn.

Rot can never be seen from a distance.
When you see it, it’s already too late.

Disappointment quaking, I reach out to
touch the wood.

“Stop” he says, wrapping my wrist in
his hand.

“Termites. You can never see them coming.”

… my eyes stay locked on a swing that is no
longer there, as cornflower blue sky cools
to steely grey …

Prophetic, I suppose.
I heard somewhere that
one bite can infect an
entire line.

Or damage a generation.

Some blood spills leave
too dark a stain.
His poison, long debased.
I heard from someone that
he is gone now.

I don’t search for abandoned
structures in the woods anymore.
Sometimes I will watch, but
always from a distance.
Bearing silent witness to
hollow shadows of former
selves, their facades of
ordered structure imploding
from the rot within.

Falling For A Sociopath Is Never Value Neutral

It Is 3 Seconds Before Dawn