‘how we know we’re dead’ and 2 more by Allen Seward

how we know we’re dead

the curtain drops
with a thud
and the lights all go out

we find ourselves in a room
with Bela Lugosi

and he begins to write in a book.


this will be the last poem
I ever write:
the doors are slamming shut
and every cicada I ever caught by the wings
has come back to haunt me.

I will write another poem
after this, I’m sure.
and it will be the last poem
I ever write:

the gold is no longer gold,
green grass is only green grass
and we eat rice and beans
as the mockingjay sings,
peacocks are nowhere,

and curfew be damned
I will one night stay up much too late
on a deathbed of roses, and sleep through
that last alarm, turning quickly to jelly
in a paper mask, and on my chest
you will find
another last poem I will ever write.

the diving ravens

the house is bare

the cats
have been fed

strips of carpet make a
over the subfloor

the window unit burps
cold air in the dining room

I will draw diving ravens
across this house
and bury them under the floor
or suffocate them with
fresh paint.


Allen Seward is a poet from the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. His work has appeared in Scapegoat Review, JAKE, Pandemonium Journal, and Skyway Journal, among others. His chapbook ‘sway condor’ is available on Amazon thanks to Alien Buddha Press. He currently resides in WV with his partner and four cats. @AllenSeward1 on Twitter, @allenseward0 on Instagram