Fall 2016, Volume 21

Poetry by Jackson Burgess


falling into my date's drink and she's not noticing,
too busy seeking eye contact, pushing
her hair back with chewed-up nails.
She takes a sip and as my scalp tumbles down her throat
I feel my bones sing. There's something electric
about disappearing into another person's body,
like the teeth that rake your hand as you thrust it
into snow, or jolting awake after another
fifty story fall. At the party girls were dancing
like fireworks as guys poured shots
over their heads. I wanted to be
the alcohol, descending gracefully until
it settled beneath crazed soles. I wanted to be
anyone else, there in the lungs of it,
every footfall a reminder of where I'd been,
every crack in my voice an echo of someone
I'd once heard, but the lights came on, signaling
it was time to go, gather our belongings,
beg strangers to take us home. The train
sobbed in the distance, and a girl said,
Shut up already, tossing her bottle in that direction,
turning before the glass scattered like mice.




BIO: Jackson Burgess is the author of Pocket Full of Glass, winner of the 2014 Clockwise Chapbook Competition (forthcoming, Tebot Bach). He is currently an MFA candidate at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has placed work in The Los Angeles Review, The Cincinnati Review, Rattle, Word Riot, and elsewhere.