Gilbert Allen



In the beginning was money,
and gentrification was good.
So the Spirit of Urban Renewal
said, “Eve’s Diner stays! Understood?”

But soon there was trouble in Eden.
Some snake told a customer fibs.
His faith in her twin patties shaken,
the first man embraced a McRib.

The neighborhood followed McAdam
swiftly, though often unseen.
Now nothing’s afloat but McNoah’s,
drowning the local cuisine.

And then, in His infinite wisdom
and rainbow-inspiring view,
the corporate head, a McYahweh,
declared all He’d done was for you.


Gilbert Allen‘s most recent books are Believing in Two Bodies (a collection of poems) and The Beasts of Belladonna (a collection of linked stories). New work will soon appear in Epoch and The Southern Review. He has lived in upstate South Carolina with his wife, the educator and environmental activist Barbara Allen, since 1977.