by Marcus Jackson
In the newly completed dimension
of American delusion, the complimentary
Old Fashions all have this charismatically
wrathful whiskey, these singed orange peels
invoking the eccentric general who ordered
fire to each orchard he thought
threatened him with its innocence.
There are these Chesterfield settees
where we may lie and/or muse and/or convulse;
the leathers, of course, are the converted hides
of animals who continue to transmit
this hard-to-hear quaver that is
multiple parts slaughterhouse, multiple parts
benevolent pasture a few breaths before dark.
Through the gold door waits the library
of weaponry, which, encompassing
hundred-mile-long aisles, holds
so much angled metal, so much
chemically pregnant artillery, so much
myopic honor that scarce visitors have left
without losing the memories of their mothers
whispering to them in leniently lit rooms
while dawn rain fed the soil,
seeds, and trees whose primary
crime was the meekness of their appetites.
Marcus Jackson’s second book of poetry, Pardon My Heart, was released in 2018 by Northwestern University Press. His poems have appeared in such publications as The American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Magazine. Jackson teaches in the MFA programs at Ohio State and Queens University of Charlotte.