Shopping Cart



Two Poems

Major Jackson


I’m glum about your sportive flesh in the empire of blab,
And the latest guy running his trendy tongue like a tantalizing surge
Over your molars, how droll. Love by a graveyard is redundant,
But the skin is an obstacle course like Miami where we are
Inescapably consigned: tourists keeping the views new.
What as yet we desire, our own fonts of adoration. By morning,
We’re laid out like liquid timepieces, each other’s exercise
In perpetual enchantment, for there is that beach in us that is untranslatable;
Footprints abound. I understand: you’re at a clothes rack at Saks
Lifting a white linen blouse, at tear’s edge, wondering.


As if every evening your body is a smile
Mingling with the sea or the sky’s last song
Over the cenotaph of violets wilting in Eastham.
On the day of the crime, the afternoon was empty.
We were footnotes on the beach and came back the color
Of pancakes. I was giving the Rosicrucians another chance, knowing
How hunger prevails long after we’ve turned our backs
On cruelty towards Faulkner and Seneca.
My gratitude was fragile, for I was kissing the thorns.
“To sea! To sea!” shouted the marvelous boys, “To sea!”


About the author

Major Jackson is the author of two collections of poetry: Hoops (W.W. Norton) and Leaving Saturn (University of Georgia Press), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is a professor of English at the University of Vermont and a faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars. ​

Sign up for A Public Space's Newsletter