Earth Puzzle We think completing the jigsaw depicting Earth will complete us, but 4 AM we float in half-consciousness, hoping to realign our orbit, still aimed into vastness, a jumbled mess on the floor. Even the dog snores. Earlier, Disco ran across our tarot cards, shuffling a wrangled meaning into fate. The Hermit. The Star. The Hanged Man. I try to string together half-correlations. I want to drink more. I open the window and inhale. I look into the dark and wonder how we can piece it all together. St. Petersburg in January maybe it is not seeing-eye dogs training in the grass I pass or the street vendors selling sunglasses tamales and watercolors or the waves that touch a difficult nerve which snap me into a more relaxed reality or the toaster-oven croissant at the French bakery on Ocean Avenue but the cranes that lift off skyscrapers in the heavy wind that make me want to punch real estate developers in the jaw or somesuch non sensical violence bear trap tourist trap somewhat Floridaesque my happy life on blast it is dynamite at a luxury construction site this weekend You Celebrate Your Birthday While I Have a Religious Experience Learning how to swim– can’t say I haven’t counted hours stars float in the night infinite darkness I cannot claim sanctity within us. You point to Orion like a familiar neighbor like I would point to a passing thought or ripple believing it significant as the moment passes.
James Croal Jackson works in film production. His most recent chapbooks are Count Seeds With Me (Ethel Zine & Micro-Press, 2022) and Our Past Leaves (Kelsay Books, 2021). Recent poems are in Stirring, White Wall Review, and Vilas Avenue. He edits The Mantle Poetry from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (jamescroaljackson.com)