James Croal Jackson


6 A.M. Route

Jogging in shorts at forty-four
degrees not the angle geometry

is the vice of bridges and edges
and bent knees but not me I am 

alive for a little while until tires
deflate which could be a minute 

or twenty-fifty depending on the
status of the singularity at my end



A Forest


In the beginning was lake
salt on our skin, wind deep
breathing with us in grass.

That was years ago, when
the woods were as open
to being endless as we were. 

I want to be lost again
in a labyrinth of pines–
fighting our way through 

cicadas singing lovesongs–
to find the water, and
emerge needing your air.




James Croal Jackson (he/him/his) is a Filipino-American poet. He has a chapbook, The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), and recent poems in Sampsonia Way, San Antonio Review, and Pacifica. He edits The Mantle Poetry (themantlepoetry.com) and works in film production in Pittsburgh, PA. (jamescroaljackson.com)