James Croal Jackson

camera polaroid photos dry leaves and a mug of coffee

James Croal Jackson is a Filipino-American poet who works in film production. His latest chapbooks are Count Seeds With Me (Ethel Zine & Micro-Press, 2022) and Our Past Leaves (Kelsay Books, 2021). Recent poems are in Stirring, Vilas Avenue, and *82 Review. He edits The Mantle Poetry from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (jamescroaljackson.com)

Moment (October)

Pounds of Turkey

I am tired of lunch meat sandwiches
the cold beasts breathing down

my throat of history
harkening if not to past lives

then my previous ones too
sitting alone in Mom’s kitchen

the green and white table
under malfunctioning fan

with a clink in its swing
Wonderbread from Acme

could have been from anywhere
but the taste is familiar if not a burdened kind of sweet

I’ve moved to a Schwebels brand of cheap
wheat always on sale always lasts

for weeks until it’s eaten
this food chain lawlessly evolved

A Light Snow Through the Window

Out of all activities
to do in the world,
we choose to watch

what melts. The sugar-
frosted grass, low hills, love
of our red-brick building.

If our conversations
are jet streams, if high-
altitude, high stakes,

tension– let me
please leave and be
reborn as something cold

and forgettable.
What dinosaur wanted
to become a fossil?

In our years together
we accumulated enough
to burrow deep into

the earth. Millions
of years from now,
what some sentience

will discover is that
we were once separate.