Trajectory

A poem by James Croal Jackson


I equate falsities with wheat; groves as tea-
leaves in lands of blue sun. I confuse distance
with fair weather– idols in my mind: the beach

or Joshua trees. Golden fields have I never tilled.
Toiled, yes, in my lugubrious way, driving through
vast swaths of America, pasteurized pastures often

teeming with cows. Thinking of scale, it is
impossible to be upset at mathematics. But
I do aim anger at trajectory. For years I had

my eyes closed, pointed at a spinning globe.
When I opened them, in Mom’s basement,
my feet were planted where I remembered.


James Croal Jackson (he/him) is a Filipino-American poet who works in film production. He has two chapbooks, Our Past Leaves (Kelsay Books, 2021) and The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017). He edits The Mantle Poetry from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Check out his website.