The Autobiographical Note

I walk through the gym doors. Steve is doing chest-flies. He yells
Hey, Flash! (Steve doesn’t know my name.)

Third Person, Past Tense

The sky through plate glass was interesting. He should have
told Steve how he’d felt about Love the moment they’d first
met: he liked it one day and not the next.

Third Person, Present Tense

Steve’s teeth lack symmetry. He suspects Steve exaggerates
her beauty. But beauty is so hard to pin down; sometimes the breath 
is sweet but the bosom smells.

Second Person, Present Tense

You don’t want to hear about the End Times today, Christian
horror movies, A Thief in the Night, The Mark of the Beast.

You just want to work out.

Last time, Steve showed you the picture of the “Rapture”
Clothes draped over a park bench in Volume 72 of Israel My
Glory, A ministry of the Friends of Israel.

Monologue with Sotto Voce

Hey, Flash
She’s real sweet, real, real affectionate. (He holds himself.)
We kissed and hugged. She’s divorced. Something is up with 
that, he whispers. Her memory is bad. Country club cocaine 

She has money from the settlement
, he mummers into his
cupped hand.

Image credit:Nathan Dumlao

Bruce Alford’s debut full-length poetry collection, TERMINAL SWITCHING, was published by Elk River Review Press in 2007.

Alford received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Alabama and was an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of South Alabama from 2007-2011. He currently lives in Hammond, Louisiana. Before working in academia, he was an inner-city missionary and journalist. You can find out more about Bruce and his work at his website,

, connect with him on Facebook and on Twitter @bruceealford.