What We Talk About When We Talk About by James Croal Jackson


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What We Talk About When We Talk About

Pepper burned my mouth
and all I could think of
in that salivated flame
was you telling me your tongue
no longer felt the heat
of a moment: meaningless
sex– bite and garment
here between the green
walls of your zen room
your small goldfish
swimming in circles–
submerged flame and hunger
for love so intense
I flicker poems to you
thumbs on lighters
waiting for the matchbook
to catch– combed pomade
hair, designer jeans, and wit–
what I want is origami
and fire– instead
we talk about love
but unlike Raymond Carver
we have nothing
more to say.



James Croal Jackson

James Croal Jackson is the author of The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017). His poetry has appeared in FLAPPERHOUSE, Rust + Moth, Jet Fuel Review, and elsewhere. He has won the William Redding Memorial Poetry Contest and is founding editor of The Mantle. Find him in Columbus, Ohio or at jimjakk.com.