The Gods Are Addicts

It’s better to be cremated, the only way to heaven
is as smoke. Burials are the devil’s idea
to harvest bones, to set them ablaze and raise hell.

Volcanic eruptions are his failed attempts to ascend.
Kerosene-lamps know this, throw one
into a cane field, strike a match and watch it erupt
into a flock of frightened crows.

The Gods are addicts and the moon is a crystal
ashtray; craters are where they press the tips of spliffs.

The stars aren’t shards of a shattered sun,
think of them as cigarettes at invisible lips.

Perhaps bush fires are the Gods committing arson
for a high.


Topher Allen is a poet and fiction writer from Clarendon, Jamaica. His work explores Jamaican geography and the island’s cultural and historical experiences. He is an Obsidian Foundation Fellow whose work appears in Montreal Writes, Pree, Poetry London, Magma, Ambit and elsewhere. Allen won the Poet Laureate of Jamaica: Louise Bennett-Coverley Prize in 2019 and was shortlisted for the Bocas Emerging Writers Fellowship in 2022.