Competition is a cedar you settled

with. Because I was digging holes

all over Texas rooting you another

tree. Oh, Fort Worth could’ve been

the birthplace of a forest, but Austin’s

expanding rapidly, oaks overgrown

with branches lugging encumbering

ambitions. I know. I’ve lived

in Nashville. Los Angeles.

There is no life of transience

without large cockroaches

squished on sidewalks.

James Croal Jackson

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 (themantlepoetry.com). Currently, he works in the film industry in Pittsburgh, PA. (jimjakk.com)

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