Astro World

A luminescent streak
shocks the void.
I wrest free of the sheets,
lurch half-awake to the window.

There’s a man out there.
His Adam’s apple gives him away.

I palm a matchbook,
step out to check, coatless.

I don’t smoke. Not anymore.
It’s just well-rehearsed.

The night is sheer, complete.


“Someone gonna get that!?”
Jackie shouts from the toilet.
Thinks it’s the phone.

“It’s just TV, Mom! Cartoons!”

Gotta catch ‘em all.

“Why do we imagine monsters?”
David wants to know.

I could murder a cigarette.

“Go ask your mother.”


Kids’ parties are such brazen currency.
Cake, orange soda.
Franks and yellow mustard.
One little monster pissed in Jackie’s impatiens.

There’s a man out there.
He’s wearing my coat.

“Who’s that guy?”
a kid wants to know.

We buttress ourselves with lies.
Some are tiny yellow worms.
Some are dynamite sirens.

“The Magician.” I tell him,
flick a butt-end into the birdbath.
“Fucking lame.” he says,
chucks his dollar-store loot to the grass.

A flying saucer, nubivagant,
gives itself away.

Jeff Parent

Jeff Parent was born in Montréal in a Monday. He is some kind of poet. A recent graduate of Concordia University’s with an MA in Creative Writing and English Literature, his poems have been published by The Fiddlehead, The League of Canadian Poets, The Quarantine Review, Shrapnel Magazine, Train: A Literary Journal, and The/tƐmz/Review amongst several others. His work was recently shortlisted for Pulp Literature’s Magpie Award for Poetry, FreeFall Magazine’s annual poetry contest, and The Malahat Review’s Open Season contest. Jeff’s first chapbook, “This Bygone Route”, was published in 2020 by 845 Press. He lives in Nova Scotia.