Jacob L. Cross


A ghost teaches courses in country curves,
about roads as common
as electric cords in rusted flatbeds,
nights darker than burn pit maple confetti.

One hour he was turning down Southern Comfort,
by the next his aorta blossomed into a blowout,
a fruit destined to drop at 63 miles per hour.
The New Moon hid like a coward.

Dale, later the honeycomb marrow mingled
with a steering wheel wreath.
The cross came later.

We rehearse reflex at the Muddy S-Turn
with our sudden deceleration,
with our missing heartbeats.

We pay our tolls near Eldorado,
where gold is nowhere,
save wrapped around the french fries
or buried in the pall bearer's glove.

Synapses ought not to fire the same furnaces—
     but they do.
A stolen name on the wind will fit far too well,
     Snug, like the cockle-burrs that crawled into the cab
     to be with Dale when he died,
     angelic parasites reminding him
     of faces stranded waiting down in weeds.

Jacob L. Cross lives in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. He studied creative writing and publishing at the University of Illinois Springfield. His work has been featured in Still: The Journal, The Alchemist Review, and Clash by Night, a poetry anthology inspired by the punk staple, London Calling. He enjoys hiking with his wife, traversing Zelda dungeons, spoiling his dogs, and consuming large quantities of half-priced sushi.

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