James Croal Jackson
a buzz of speed
& basement grease slick
the party lights, I never graduated bumper
bowling, holy Z of physics, clunky
mechanics of moving the body
any which direction, forward
time decrees, manifestation my
brothers swollen feet, wheels
in motion sugaring me
circles circles circles
Condado Beach / Condado Tacos
Your sister gets engaged at Condado Beach.
You and I when it happens are in the middle
of another meal, paper boats of combo soft/hard-
shell concoctions at Condado Tacos, and when she calls
us later, at The Abbey, we joke I should have proposed
before Mark did tonight, when I stuffed-mouth called it!
that they would get engaged in Puerto Rico, that I should
have wrapped your ring finger in tortilla and professed
my love, of course, in a dramatic drunken offering at the
corner of a bar, of which we have done a thousand times,
but not here, to do it first, with nostalgia borne from
our presence at a small chain founded in the city
our story began. But when we lived in Columbus
we were lukewarm upon Condados now-sacred
offerings until it felt like homesickness brought
deus ex machina and a Condado was constructed
a couple blocks away in Lawrenceville. There,
our lust for long-ago brought us back and again.
We feasted through soft and lean times and almost
threw white flags of surrender at each other. This
time, at the bottom of our split-check receipts, we
saw an opportunity to join their rewards program.
This is how we sign our own lifetime commitment.
June 22, 2019 Morning
If there is no coffee
in any of these storefronts
if I walk up another hill
scattered branches, lily weeds
protruding from the pavement,
roses bending out of vases
take me into the tree-
before I rest there now.
Someday Ill Enter the Kingdom
and for now my crown is
in my mouth. my temporary
house from bricks
heavy hands worn
from endless insistence
in a mirrorless era
of self self self self self
upon which I am guilty
indulging in that grease
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