I believe I tend to complicate

all matters, but when I strain


I remember we are one unified 

being swimming between the lie 


of stars as tides sweep over the city.

Quiet night– at least no one 


seems to mind the oak of 

my cologne. I can smell


the earth and the rain all around,

the seaweed everywhere.


The tang of time is yellow, 

maybe parched, alongside 


herbal tea and 

cool desiccation.


I am on 

the beach below her, watching clouds,


splintering sky, my eternal life

a big house just waiting to 


sell to a surfer. Above, the yellow light

depends on the seasons, the turquoise


narrows the closer it gets to the blue,

coinciding with what looks like a different wave.


James Croal Jackson is a Filipino-American poet who works in film production. His latest chapbooks areCount Seeds With Me (Ethel Zine & Micro-Press, 2022) and Our Past Leaves (Kelsay Books, 2021). Recent poems are in Stirring, Vilas Avenue, and *82 Review. He edits The Mantle Poetry from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (jamescroaljackson.com)