Even in the Nostalgia of My Happiest Era 

by James Croal Jackson

I think of the lawn, the grass I had 
to cut by the mouthfuls, sink into 
something other than summer, the flesh 
of work, beer bottles piling in the margins 
of the yard. I’d take my gloves off– hungover
July– to pick up last night’s blurry harmonicas. 
Oh, I’d sing the songs through my teeth. 
I lapped at youth forever cranking the tracks 
from Myth, the blue days buzzing 
by. Granny apples were rotting 
in the yard beneath my nose. Even then 
I told myself I can’t stay here forever.

James Croal Jackson (he/him) has a chapbook, The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), and poems in Pacifica, Good Works Review, and indefinite space. He edits The Mantle Poetry (themantlepoetry.com). Currently, he works in the film industry in Pittsburgh, PA. (jimjakk.com)