Within me, the sipped, iced bourbon enacts the sense of a slow, April rain blurring and nurturing a landscape. Decades I’ve been pipe-dreaming of finding a life as concise as a wartime telegram. Ultimately, I’ve ended up compiling an archive of miscommunication and the faded receipts of secondary disgraces. In third grade, a friend’s uncle stole the two dollars from my pocket as I slept on their couch, and later he must’ve hurried into the night toward a flat in the nearby building where a newly minted narcotic promised to evict the misgivings from all riled souls. I told no one of the theft, letting the emptiness become my government, my friend’s mother counting her food stamps while we walked the late-morning blocks to a bustling grocery, within which she eventually smacked the hopeful face of my friend as he reached again for too costly a thing.
Copyright © 2019 by Marcus Jackson. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 27, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.