you stepped in dog

poop on your birthday

but still had a good birthday

we walked through windchimes

off golden sidewalks

& drank a vat of black coffee

free from a corporation

so desperate for your loyalty

all our other friends

reached into their pockets

to blow out their rewards, too

James Croal Jackson (he/him) is a Filipino-American poet. He has two chapbooks, Our Past Leaves (Kelsay Books, forthcoming 2021) and The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), with recent poems in White Wall Review, Subnivean, and Hello America. He edits The Mantle Poetry ( from Pittsburgh, PA. ( – Twitter: @jimjakk

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