James Croal Jackson – 4 poems

Thanksgiving, 2019

            

I can’t sit at the dining table

& listen to the morning swarm

            

of words buzzing around my hair

hovering not entering my ears    

            

(this tablecloth of hardened rice

& wide-angled magenta lotus flowers).

            

To come home is to steam tradition      

& I admit love is a dry chunk of it.   

            

But my patience does not endure.

The turkey in the oven has been

            

dressed with salt & oil since 3 A.M.

Soon we will eat our wounds.

 

            

This Old Table Means So Much to You

            

Tripod mahogany plate. The ceiling

leaks– nowhere for rain. The cat’s self-

cleaning beside treble clef legs. The robot

vacuum learns floor secrets below.

Purple grape stems. Vent dust

from the void. I left you a voicemail

on a no outlet road. I read a few pages

tonight. Shower steam dissipates

slowly into starlight.

            

The Hunger

            

First were fruits drifting down like feathers,

their sugar shells & caramel centers gooey.

            

When the fruits stopped fruiting, she scraped

off the tree’s gingerbread bark using flint

            

as a spatula. Next gone were leaves–

the sweet ones– but the branches chewed

            

like celery so were spat out. Feet swollen,

hands rugburn red, she climbed all

            

night, eating, the tree only sour leaves

& skeleton, exposed heart beating

            

before a death between teeth, strawberry ice

cream gushing past the mauve, ravenous moon.

            

Inevitable Change

            

surf another wave

of cyclical maturation

            

I am who I am, you

are who you are–

            

static trust– your white

noise a velcro

            

loosening of being

unhinged– I leave cities

            

faster than lovers, cruise

the interstate in blindfolds

            

before rumble strip sobers

me beyond the paved path

James Croal Jackson (he/him/his) is a Filipino-American poet. He has two chapbooks, Our Past Leaves (Kelsay Books, forthcoming 2021) and The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), with recent poems in White Wall Review, Subnivean, and Thin Air. He edits The Mantle Poetry (themantlepoetry.com) from Pittsburgh, PA. (jamescroaljackson.com)

One thought on “James Croal Jackson – 4 poems

  1. Pingback: Inevitable Change | James Croal Jackson

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