A Cockatrice Couple

Watching cardinals by the window, I expect them
to drop dead. But they never. Instead, we keep drinking

bird-themed beers and fly in orbit around each other’s
other lovers, because when we are drunk we call ourselves

a cockatrice couple, the way we span to such great lengths
to say, we’re blooming, there’s nothing wrong, we bloom.

Always, we come down to earth and say we can’t, never
When we land in water, our human qualities

return. Can’t withstand
the current.

James Croal Jackson is a Filipino-American poet who works in film production. He has three chapbooks: Count Seeds With Me (Ethel Zine & Micro-Press, 2022), Our Past Leaves (Kelsay Books, 2021), and The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights, 2017). He edits The Mantle Poetry from Pittsburgh, PA. jamescroaljackson.com

See more of his work in 10.4 and 10.4

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