Sometimes A suitcase is just a suitcase, a metaphor professor preached in college. Though, as a poet, I make my life more difficult, trying to weave what meaning tatters fabric, seeing in it a cat we met one night. We rubbed his soft body before finding blood beneath the mewling, and having just adopted, we chose to lift our hands and continue walking, vicious in our trust that we discarded the proper mercy. Two Weeks Like yesterday, I say I won’t leave the house for spinach seeds. We have to make with what we have. I’m listening to Grizzly Bear, like yesterday. I say my favorite song is Two Weeks– eighth-note piano ends for vocals. I won’t leave the house for, at best, two weeks after. But I can’t live on only singing. Spinach seeds. We have to. The Tendril Friends seem to love it but the flowering plant in the bathroom creeps me out. There is a half- empty/full glass of water on the shelf beside the dinosaur-cat mug. I wonder about that, too. I guess it depends on how you look at the world: the stone- green leaf reaches for your hand or punches at your jugular. I want to say I don’t have trust issues but you say you’re taking a shower and shut the door, but I know the steam is watering the tendrils. These leaps of light I can’t provide.
James Croal Jackson (he/him) is a Filipino-American poet working 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. (jamescroaljackson.com)