Bourbon in hand, you believe the world
will always be this strange
and wonderful. A dog barks by the pool
tables, you throw one thigh across my lap
and let your glass pull your hand against mine.
The dark honey crashes against the rim.
A waitress comes and asks if we’d like more.
We nod and raise our down
-ed glasses, before drowning. Want burns
our throats. The only thing to cool this is
to spit in my mouth before we smolder back
to clay. Outside, music dies as it stumbles
out of the club. Let us celebrate
how distant our bodies are from home,
how anything can be exotic: the street view
window, the cracked glass tabletops, our
own skin. Let tonight end somewhere in
foreign territory. Help me believe the lie:
that the world is too vast to ever be familiar.
Born and raised in Topeka, Kansas, Gary Jackson is the author of the poetry collection Missing You, Metropolis, which received the 2009 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in Callaloo, Tin House, Phoebe and elsewhere. He teaches at Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque, New Mexico.