We were children foretold to save the world.
We made love in alleys hidden from the moon.
We calculated the trajectory of movement,
fleeing into battle rooms of weightlessness
inundated with that floating feeling
of our necessary covalence.
In our battle room at night
you could not hear chirps
or hums of passing cars.
No one heard laughter change
to scorn, our mouths throttled with heavy.
I was too young to command.
In a way, the dark alleys orbited secret histories:
time haunting the ghosts of war themselves.
We were honored with medals, golden kisses
long after we gave ourselves naked to freezing water.
We became a star unaware of emitted light.
To touch was to will ourselves to sleep,
to die knowing we had always been at war,
every word a battle without the why.
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.