Forest Spirit

Many selves,
a raging fire, a sparkling chasm.
viper slithers to its apogee – the sun –
almost succeeds, almost destroys –
I am justified in brevity, breathing
as I, come face to face,
and so it is – angry souls in each other’s bodies –
while August burns treacherously
in the dry grasses.

Boy leaves tracks. Life trudges.
Brooding, endorsing the searing sun,
Can’t close the seed captured here,
die brother…live sister….
no distress or bitterness or revenge –
merely randomness that
divides itself unmercifully

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how clandestine can a day be?

in the morning my hands hold an ocean. a ghost
of a note hanging on a clothesline the air plays

each night. i put it there but i don’t remember. i feel fine at dawn &
a needle weaves its yarn around slick fingers like a travelling sun.

my hands are faster than my feet so they dig a well. i think
in another life i’d have been a slug. pulling against myself always
leaving discard gossamer.

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Last Chance Road

A light rain washes clean the leaves, the green melody of freedom from the city’s nightmares. Time rolls past, fast or slow, no one knows, like the mists that rise up and settle down upon the Smoky Mountains. Days lose their distinctions, their names. Dust, thick and heavy in the sun, embraces the rain like new love refusing to let go and calms the road down, clearing the air, the sky, the pathway love must travel to embrace a new rain.

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Flight

Now all I hear is my own hum so turn again to the window where a broken line of parked cars dots the whitening sidewalk, as the sun englobes the street in crisp detail and vivifies the skeletal oaks that scratch against the sky, implying the chimes of birds about to arrive. I lean against my window, note the dust motes pillowed on the glass like a moleculed yawn, so grab a rag and spot, on the ledge, two piebald pigeons strutting and pulsing back and forth as they peck along the sill in sync.

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August Garden

August Garden Overgrown, ravaged with insects, humming incessant sun, the lot of it buckles, sucks, sags and slumps toward autumn — all bursting, come to fruition, seeking divisions between sex and sex and death — breathing last breaths, heaving its seed toward next season. Stephen Jackson [he/him] lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. His […]

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Political Harvest 

Political Harvest Toward the east Through back porch screen Clouds are forming their ranks Against the sun A crow’s distant cawing Gives voice to solitude Worn like a thorny cloak And mocks that final promise Hope and lifeline once Now become more lethal Than foreign shrapnel Pines murmured all night In their high, strange tongue […]

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Untitled

Untitled some branded some empty roadside stops stupid beasts and giant devices painted with pleasure baked by sun and camera flash visit my fresh dream we’ll sit together picking at cracks in our used cars’ leather seats Aaron Warnock comes from a very diverse family. His father was a Methodist Pastor, his sister is a […]

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A California Street

A California Street I had a vivid dream at nine, living by the California coast, walking down a wide street, past palm trees and Spanish-style houses. I marveled at the warmth of the sun, the clearness of the turquoise sea and how beautiful the birds-of-paradise were. Then I woke from the dream and walked a […]

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