August 3, 2016 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION


Jason Allen



The Idea Of You



If I had left swiftly,

without lingering;

if we had separated

without exchanging little pleasantries,

little trivialities;

if we had not sat there,

side by side,

drinking our tea,

exchanging a few civil words

without conversing;


I would have turned and gone,

my mind would have lingered

on your delicious features,

on your mouth,

that perfect circle of leeches,

on your rolling gait,

entering my skin,

settling there.


That’s the kind of morning it would have been.











In the fragrant scrub I felt the weight of love.

I felt it when we looked at each other eagerly on the steep cliff.


I felt it along craggy paths,

in the sea,

in the low tide fleeing the fissured earth,

and the boats scattered like children’s toys.


I found a free country.


Its air was free.

It was toward this unknown

and free air that I headed.

To it I wanted to go.


Happiness was beyond choked cities;

in your country,

on your hills

and in their fragrant undergrowth.









Jason Allen

Jason Allen is Jamaican poet who currently lives in Paris, France. He is a 2016 Callaloo Fellow and has worked under the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gregory Pardlo. Jason’s poetry has appeared in sx salon and is forthcoming in Callaloo. In October 2016, he will begin a Leverhulme Research Fellowship at the University of Leeds in the UK.


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