lovesick | a manifesto i scratched onto the headboard
the lion came at fifteen, world awash in blood and come
morning, how the curtain’s roses rose up to float against
 
blue sky bleeding through the thinning cloth, too caught
off guard by a new day, to notice him thick in the corner
 
lovesick, never mind all my ragged notebooks, scrawled
with words i’d written, in honor of him, i knew from the
 
look in his eyes he’d arrived for mouth, for cock, for ass
still i froze in the heat of those filthy sheets, begged him
 
to go away, as he shifted, lifted his rawboned body up to
confront me, cough, and mumble, I’m hungry, no angels
 
left to feed him, how could i not see, he’d come to me at
a moment of desperation, and ravaged by guilt, i offered
 
to him my flesh, that summer, my manifesto, i scratched
onto the headboard, written with a tireless lust, the roses
 
crumbling in the summer heat, fireworks still echoing in
the distance, all against us, and no angels left to bless us
 
 

the light | as if it knew us, as if we knew each other
 
the way the light came in the window, as if it knew us
bent, in the throes of life, a carnival ride, so new to us
 
untethered, at last, scattered horses from the carrousel
surrounded us and cast a spell of freedom, a city, ours
 
to do in as we pleased, to finally taste a kiss beside an
open window, nearly tumbling down the summer stair
 
and out into the streets, our chucks, amorously placed
against each inlaid dance step up and down broadway
 
until, in every little breath of it all, neon or sacred, we
ached to be that light, a circus tent of stars that shined
 
above us, seattle’s latest lovers, fools, for one another
likened to carneys, brothers, as if we knew each other

Stephen Jackson [he/him] lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. His work has appeared in a variety of publications including The American Journal of Poetry, Ghost City Review, Impossible Archetype, The Inflectionist Review, Iō Literary Journal, Stone of Madness Press, and S/WORD, as well as on the International Human Rights Art Festival Publishes platform and in The PoetRhy Garden. @fortyoddcrows

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