“I’m Not Dead, I’m Dormant!”

                                    – sign posted by the African Tree Grape
                                    at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical
                                    Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

meaning
I love you I love you
or I did it’s not dead
I swear in my heart
there’s our little room
full of dust
your fingerprints
on the window
we’re not dead
but we’re trying
to figure this living-
together shit
and not take
our suitcases
boxes
of handwritten cards
Miami Post-its
and the cats
oh my god the cats
litter the house with
stars we’d sweep
for trash night
on Thursday
with all the puffy
white bags
that sometimes rip
and leave grape
stems
on the sidewalk

James Croal Jackson (he/him) has a chapbook, The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), and poems in Pacifica, Reservoir, and Rattle. He edits The Mantle Poetry. Currently, he works in the film industry in Pittsburgh, PA. His website: https://jimjakk.com.

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