Cardinals

Cold fronts enter spring, but cardinals
sing their frigid songs despite soft snow.

Red lips still curl over the sidewalk’s cigarettes
but warmth dissipates when smoke leaves the body.

Pale hands reach from corners of blurry photographs—
push through crowds of these-were-my-lovers

tines of bright puncture darkness. Negative dust
turns to light: the telescope observed your eyes

wandering the dark. Believe the perched cardinal
is lost love thinking of you who sculpts the moon

out of papier-mâché—scope the abyss for stars
but smell the art’s silver crumble on your skin.

James Croal Jackson’s poems have appeared in magazines including Isthmus, Common Ground Review, and Thin Air Magazine. He lives in Columbus, Ohio. Visit him at https://jimjakk.com or listen to his music at http://www.layzer.us.

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