Two Poems by James Croal Jackson

These two poems by James Croal Jackson are kisses planted firmly on the lips of memory. They evoke a longing for things never realized —  the innocence of youth and a gift never opened….

by: James Croal Jackson


the rug by the door. the tongue

-tied twisted loops
+++++++++++++i am reckless

driving east on 76 intoxicated

by skunked memories
+++++smoking in the garage
before mom got home

+++++++++++black lunged
to change
+++++++++++++my course
of history.……of course.

dandelion petals….torn
in two.
+++++++into something
not a flower.………no longer

the sour taste stays
+++++++++on my tongue



I left your place with nothing
to say to the paper skeleton
hanging on your door. Walked
the street in old, browned
loafers to meet other friends,
no celebrations to celebrate.
Your birthdays always pass
without fanfare. I see ribbons
in you when you do not.
Candles, cake, club
music. Striating lights
to spotlight, embrace,
then the world– its
countless, colorful
ribbons– would spin
around us, give you this.


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

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