by James Croal Jackson

Published in Issue No. 247 ~ December, 2017

The chairs we sit in are steel

horses, sad and dead. What you said

at the gallery in the warehouse was

to you, I have only given death and cookies.

Or corpses confused with candy.

Your cheeks puff, withdraw.

You’re silver in ceramic.

If I were a romantic I’d say

you belong in the painting.

Longing, always. But I am

a romantic. When we strolled

the botanical gardens we found longing

in the plants deemed poisonous.

How close I get to each sweet thing.

How close it feels to death.


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James Croal Jackson is the author of The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017). His poetry has appeared in The Bitter Oleander, Rust + Moth, Cosmonauts Avenue, and elsewhere. He has won the William Redding Memorial Poetry Contest and has been a finalist for the Princemere Poetry Prize. Find him in Columbus, Ohio or at