Poetry Drawer: Manhattan: Cocaine: To Sara (From DQ): Buzz Burn: Shadows by James Croal Jackson


lack of grass–
a poodle shits
on sidewalk


I am too scared to snort
so I lick powder off the blade–
it numbs my mouth. I want to
trust you when you say
there will come no harm
my way but I’d rather ingest
rust. My lungs already cold
in gentle snowfall. And
I worry about the heart.
Why does it feel like
impending illness
when all I want to
do is snort-laugh
with you all through
the night?

To Sara (From DQ)

Wouldn’t call myself wild. Wouldn’t last a day–
before you, another home I thought’d be forever.

Some call my eyes crystal but I couldn’t predict
a future outside the shelter. I was scared yet still

nomadic to a fault– too eager to attach, I now
purr from afar– me, on a pillow on the carpet,

you, sipping coffee on the couch– just to say
I see you, I want to go there, just not yet.

I will never detail my past, its unimaginable
happenings that make me want to spill Cabernet

glasses, scatter shards of red on tile. I’m learning
to be comfortable in my surroundings, to love

and welcome love by others in this space. I leap
atop the cabinets to walk into your world, observe.

And at night I wait for you to lay in bed when,
at last, I can rest on your chest, close my eyes,

and be.

Buzz Burn

glass of prop champagne could
be a three thousand dollar shot

I can’t pay these costs the
moving parts all I want

is to buy you liquor an
André for us to drink

such fine and cheap champagne
in front of the camera I turn

to improv heroes and beg to
break the bottle I am stuck inside

of work yet warm in winter when
the bottle breaks I always crave


we are shapeshifters we believe
in the magic of night we blend
into shadows no one knows our
lust ogling us glowing knowing
yellow eyes watchful this world
we make our decisions the love
we choose to give and leave (oh,
the love we leave) in the light we
thought would blend into other
light but that is not the way the
sun operates it glints off car hot
metal to momentarily blind you
back into the shadows

James Croal Jackson (he/him) is a Filipino-American poet. He has a chapbook, The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), and poems in Capsule Stories, SHARK REEF, and Ghost City Review. He edits The Mantle Poetry. Currently, he works in film production in Pittsburgh, PA.

Leave a Reply