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being missed, christian exists in [ ] time

a sense of loneliness | of loss is creeping
into stephen, overcoming him, his better

emotions, those more kinetic | less static
feelings, hung like a charge in the air —

waiting for something to happen, for the
some[one] | some[thing], that will move

through him, [ ] other than the heaviness
of this hollow, the fullness of this empty

that is the not christian, of christian | not
christian — stephen, in fevered states of

missing christian, and perhaps, christian
missing stephen, or is it, the not missing

more an unrelenting attempt by memory
to disassemble from is what no longer is

Seattle, 2020

dawn | mother of my antagonist never seeing light of day

her body, foreign to her now, the repetitive blip of a satellite
gone static, some electrical interference, the voice of a child

in the distance, against the waves of the ocean, and laughter
surely must make her remember, how softly i wrote her into

the novel, mother of my antagonist, dawn never seeing light
of day, still alone in the house, the lights burned out by now

not even ink on paper, trapped within my computer, perhaps
in some corrupted file, she waits, tending to the small world

i created for her, created so well i can hear her argue against
the din of time, the world was never mine, you needed a son

yes, but one who will never forgive me, he loves you dearly
and i have left you so lonely, whereas he lives on, inside me

Seattle, 2020

flies on the window, caught in the heat of the night

from here, inside the television, in this blue kitchen
the world, a word too big for my mouth, reflects on

itself, our table set, supper almost ready, join us for
mock meat and potatoes, while flies dive-bomb the

windows, let’s pop some jazz on, got any earl hines
or charlie parker on vinyl, it seems we’re searching

for a symbol before dessert, the way your slacks fit
or some sort of cosmic near-catastrophe, leaving us

shaken, but willing to go on in style, all the records
scratched with an eternal background of gentle rain

come, sit at the table, let us offer thanks, for we are
not the dead yet, just caught in the heat of the night

wanting to break out, float into the cool, to imagine
the sax, break bread, feel a new world in our mouth

Seattle, 2020


Stephen Jackson [he/him] is a poet who lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. Sole proprietor of the Seattle small press So Many Birds publishing [SMBp], he created Harness literary magazine and the Future+Present chapbook series. His work has appeared in a variety of publications such as The American Journal of Poetry, Ghost City Review, Impossible Archetype, The Inflectionist Review, Stone of Madness Press, and S/WORD, as well as on the International Human Rights Art Festival Publishes platform.

Note on the typeface: These verses are intended to be presented in Times New Roman as part of their formal composition. They are printed here in their original font in accordance with the artistic vision of the author. These poems are best viewed on a desktop.

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