Institution claws and gnashes I will always

be proud of you flowers drooping limbs

a butterfly careens left out of reach always


I hope you rip your wings out of my palm

and fly before heavy winds smash you

into the raging sea dark and pulsing


in this cave you are ravenous for sun

so if you must go into the thrashing storm

do not look back



James Croal Jackson


James Croal Jackson is a Filipino-American poet who works in film production. His latest chapbooks are A God You Believed In (Pinhole Poetry, 2023) and Count Seeds With Me (Ethel Zine & Micro-Press, 2022). Recent poems are in Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Little Patuxent Review, and The Round. He edits The Mantle Poetry from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (

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