Rachel Allen



Star, July 2012

For one summer plus several more I moved quickly. The morning I woke up memoryless with a Saran-wrapped wrist, I laughed and kept on going. A star! A vast and tiny point of light. What it signified to my drinking self I could not tell you.



Quincunx, April 2014

Lacking anything better to do, I flipped open Luke. Can I read you Maundy Thursday? I had forgotten that Jesus tells the disciples to get swords in Gethsemane, but not that one soldier gets his ear sliced off. The Gospel had once been inseparable from Van Gogh in that way. You’d had enough before we got to Golgotha.

Four days later, it was Easter in your white bed. The larger part of you was missing. People arrived to bless your batwing shoulder blades, your tight void mouth. You were a still and perfect vessel. The other story ends differently. I did not expect you’d be Christ.



Bull, June 2014

Peggy was a hag queer crone who never let anyone off without a lecture. She said “let me tell you about Congo,” or “let me tell you about the days when Lesbianism was still political,” or “don’t walk on my grass.” When we moved Peggy out of her house (because she had no children), my mother was mesmerized by a Polaroid of Peggy propped erotically on the floor. I was not allowed to hold it, and I was not allowed to keep it and glue it in my diary. This was how Peggy took prisoners: by force and by accident.



Three dots, August 2014

At 19 I learned how to manifest everything that I wanted. At 21 I forgot to use this ability and the world collapsed, which is the danger of aping Atlas. My manifestations shrank, and in the second-worst bedroom I’ve ever slept in, I created sanctuary where I could. Remade the bed, lit veladoras and sticks of lavender, tacked Forrest’s paintings to the cinder block walls. I called myself to attention smoking gold-tipped cigarettes by the window, dipping my needle and marking my meditations in ink.



<3, November 2014

Gothsgiving, says the caption of the image of me, black-lipped in a black turtleneck, holding Kristeva in one hand and a glass of white wine in the other. Knowingly disinherited of the Thing, the [] person wanders in pursuit of continuously disappointing adventures and loves; or else retreats, disconsolate and aphasic, alone with the unnamed Thing. The joke is that it was the fourth Thursday in November and I was alone in a booth waiting for your shift to end.

To get there I’d fled all obligation six months prior and met you in a Moravian town. We drank outside on Fourth Street and then with nowhere else to go I drove around arching and slumping in unfamiliar dusk while your hand pinched my underwear. In a cemetery you set my ass against stone and fucked me until a family walked past. You fucked me in a barn and finished fucking me by a ravine behind a warehouse in the backseat of my dad’s illegally parked car. I said it was: delicious. Fucking is an event, signified, signified, signified.


Rachel Allen is the assistant managing editor of Guernica. Her work has appeared in Nerve, Mask, DAME, Highway, and Human Parts. She lives in Brooklyn; she is a Pisces; her website is