Junior Year English
In front of me in class. The long strokes
of chalk on board. I first whispered jokes
only you could hear. When we were face-
to-face I lost my wit. Young me in headlight
love neutralized by it. Your dad was a dentist
so I polished my yellow teeth. And yours
were gleams of white that guarded words!
I wrote what you said in journals to keep
them secret in my heart. For everyone
I have since loved I keep the language.
© James Croal Jackson
James Croal Jackson (he/him) has a chapbook, The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), and poems in Jenny, *82 Review, and Reservoir. He edits The Mantle (themantlepoetry.com). Currently, he works in the film industry in Pittsburgh, PA. (jimjakk.com)