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James Croal Jackson 

at ineffable cà phê

she has your smile     wooden 

walls make me claustrophobic 

always      in this moment she is

you     we live in the same city 

again    instead of daffodil fields 

bricks and pavement between 

us   I can’t help but drive the distance    

two blocks til my mouth is aflame 

with jalapenos and sriracha     on this 

red bed of rice I am dreaming of 

when we were younger    I am trying 

to push away the thought    but memory’s

off its leash  running free into green 

paint bike lane    sometimes this roof 

sounds like a galloping horse on top   

yet there is no rain   you wreck me 

with eye contact    in this room of 

pendants   beams from inverted skillets 

some bulbs are webs of black boba

The Dark

I lay in the dark. Still as a spider

I haven’t yet decided if I am


going to kill. I am done giving 

meaning to arduousness. I could


quit my job but another will fill

it. With worthlessness. The oval


mirror reflects nothing

without the presence of light.

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