Allene Rasmussen Nichols


Oil has never tucked a child in at night
or laughed at a blue jay
as it chased smaller birds
from its food.

But oil has sealed lips
as surely as death.
It has wrapped its arms and legs
around tender necks
and strangled the laughter.

It leaves war zones
littered with human bodies with lidless eyes
that ooze black viscosity
onto the sidewalks.

Allene Rasmussen Nichols lives in Arlington, Texas.. Her poems have been published in regional and international journals and the anthology Dance the Guns to Silence: 100 Poems for Ken Saro-Wiwa. Her plays have been produced in Dallas, California, and New York.

(author retains copyright)