Major Jackson

We enter without tears
and huddle in the sidehills.

The children’s cries are like spears in our chests,
so we trade our silence for hammers.

In our sleep, behemoths descend
upon us which we cannot shake even when
first light flames over the eastern crests. We eat

flesh of the great furred
beasts and wolf down their grief
and wait for the hours our bodies
inhabit their songs.

We want the odors of women.
We want our bones nightstruck
and war waged on our names,
stoking death’s black light.

The good life is tomorrow
for we always have plans
which fall like blazing meteors.

The crows take flight when we lift
from cold stone pillows.


Art by Daniel Toby Gonzalez

Major Jackson is the author of four books of poetry, most recently ROLL DEEP. He teaches at the University of Vermont.

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