PANERA

by James Croal Jackson 

Panera

I lost the important things
sweeping baguette crumbs
underneath an industrial
fan– cyclicality, the broom’s sashay
from one end of the room to
the next– sand blown from the center
of the desert, and how selfish
to keep water in the bottle
with other mouths to nurture.

New July

This army of cicadas returns home
from a distant war– old love, we
retreat to our comforts after pulling
weeds– Kentucky Mule burns,
melting ice at the bottom of
the glass, I am on your couch
then inevitably your floor,
your hand gripping my knee.
Chatter from the gathering rises
just outside the back door,
footsteps up the stairs,
and we embrace against
the humming refrigerator,
pushing toward a lush
new vegetation.

HOT SAUCE

You know how much is too much but
you shake the bottle anyway over browned

grilled cheese sandwich and bite in.
The things you think you can get away with–

oh, the tiny fires you’ve stepped across in
the temple of your longing. Little dabs of red

on canvas– the meat of the situation is you’re
taken but, Lord, the flame goes hallelujah blue.

I’m speaking a poetry of pigs. Relationship
as slaughterhouse. Relationship as bacon

you want to slather lust all over.

OASIS

little do we know
of anything

mindfog a desert light

progress
a stony monument

voyeurs
on a voyage

through the fog

About the Author:

James Croal Jackson (he/him) has a chapbook, The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), and poems in Pacifica, Reservoir, and Rattle. He edits The Mantle (themantlepoetry.com). Currently, he works in the film industry in Pittsburgh, PA. (jimjakk.com)   

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