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James Croal Jackson

Airport Protest in a Crumbling America

We march through the airport in cold winds chanting 

aluminum fists in the air and when we come home 


the Fireball bottle is empty. The chimney is covered 

in dust and Johnny has pneumonia for the second time 


this year, lungs filled with water but no one else 

breathes easily, just tuning into television fills a room 


with coughs and silence. We had wings for a minute 

but the planes have resumed their spots in the air far 


away from the things that hurt. Just gazing down on 

wide landscapes of gray plains and small churches 


crumbling from the steeples.

The Uncertainty Principle

Quantum physics has never been

more real than in this steaming

silver pot of Annie’s shells 

and cheddar butter and milk

I’m cooking and the cat in our house

attacks crumpled-up balls 

of paper yet sprints in fear

when a toilet is flushed. We are

all in orbit. You and me and 

Earth and spoon in pot 

mixing components into 

tornado and I don’t know

where the melting butter 

ends up nor the cheese

or where I’ll be in ten

years or a thousand 

because our atoms

can diverge into

two paths any given





the one where you and I and most our friends and family are still alive

because ten years is a long time   someone both of us love has died

it’s my father I see dandelions on the dead a suit and tie something

he never would have worn & your mother her silky dress and 

Avon perfume wafting through the wake     the frost her

permanent winter bed 




  the one where you and I and all our friends and family are still alive

because ten years is a long time    someone both of us love will die

I see a bowl of ashes I see dead dandelions wilting on the stove

the steam carries souls up into my nose where I recall the heat

and deepness of the Grand Canyon sun pressing against my

neck Dad in his thick glasses & sweat    arms around me &

I pick up a stone & throw it over the edge

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