James Croal Jackson

In Another Life I Am Content Enough

What simulation’s numb you ask
if I want children this time

definitive we boil Kraft mac 
and cheese. I toss our meager sweet 

potatoes in oil and ramble about financial 
self-worth the oven nearly at four hundred 

degrees. I can’t stop petting your shoulder 
the ashy cat roams in the loam of our love 

our newly swept hardwood the house 
our home for now so limited already

steam from the inside a pressure 
cooker of different timelines. What river 

these converging lives to seek meaning
in the biological job postings some of us 

are born to call. My dad was sixty-one 
when I was born my grandfather clock 

ticks nonexistent. We have gorged in all
our broken cabinets to rustle the blue 

plastic grocery bag pile. I can’t stand 
to live another day preoccupied. 


bowl-shaped city I just wanna smoke
come hurricane season

                                      look now Mom I’m gone

inside all the jazz I never listened to.
I’m gonna stay home and hear the blues

because I had a light notion in my brain.
I’m standing in different spots in this room

to see where my shadow is grander.
Over in the corner I blend into darkness.

By the window I just look outside at the wire 
fence and dream of living in New Orleans.

Party on the Precipice of Change

Photographers on the lawn 
snap life guitars green 

mutated bees we swing 
on the buzz bin of Eden

matchmaking pollination 
we seek old holes to crawl out 

of swishing vodka comes potato 
new spuds supplant the hunger

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 Press, 2017). He edits The Mantle Poetry from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. jamescroaljackson.co

Flights. Issue Two, September 2021