That Summer I Still
Believed in Everything

James Croal Jackson

Blackbirds linger over the summer of 2012—
I followed them to Austin ahead of winter’s white

knuckle, veered west into the world of tv,
an industry where I found & fought the devil

in myself, his blade lodged still deep within me.
I chose Los Angeles over love, a dead dream

over crisp grass, intoxicated phone calls of
a faraway devotion– how I once told Tony

I’d still marry you, how we were inseparable
until I forced a two-thousand mile difference

we would never bridge.

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

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