James Croal Jackson (he/him) is a Filipino-American poet who works in film production. He has two chapbooks (Our Past Leaves, Kelsay Books, 2021 and The Frayed Edge of Memory, Writing Knights, 2017) with one forthcoming: Count Seeds With Me (Ethel, 2022). He edits The Mantle Poetry from Pittsburgh, PA. (jamescroaljackson.com)
Clink your skull against my skull. Tulip glasses in the fog at a winery. The pale white of a wedding dress– you wouldn’t call me Western, would you? I’m warm at the brain center. Leave your soft red mark on my red mark so we can walk slowly in the grass toward the fence that keeps a single deciduous tree beside the blue barn where chickens are kept against their wild wills.
It was so quiet you could hear cows walking on mud pigs chewing wheat. For a moment I wanted as a souvenir the certain stillness of winter trees of nearly everything– but the cloud began its parting, its rising– smoke out the barrel of a gun, aiming at you like an open door, begging you to hide.
It’s 9:45 I’m Happy to be Alive
I’m in bed an engine revs a motorcycle outside someone on this street screams slow down but I finish our pack of blueberries, I apologize what for? We were both eating them. The small sour ones. The large C-flat ones. Near the end I say these kinda taste weird. You say they’re very sweet. I apologize what for? Where I’m at I can complain about such sweetness.