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Stephen Jackson

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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