Chicken Imitations by James Croal Jackson

We made Arrested Development-esque chicken imitations
at the restaurant– bakawk, cheep-cheep, wakka wakka

being young, I thought that was the language of love.
We always laughed across the chasm of the room

when we shut shop, squeezing soap rags into heart buckets,
wiping fresh clear streaks on mahogany tables. I vacuumed

pita crumbs and invisible dust, emptied bags thinking,
perhaps, I was on the verge of vanquishing loneliness,

that I was sprinkling zaatar on a plate of foggy shish
tawook, a taste you might return to.

James Croal Jackson is a Filipino-American poet who works in film production. He has three chapbooks: Count Seeds With Me (Ethel Zine & Micro-Press, 2022), Our Past Leaves (Kelsay Books, 2021), and The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights, 2017). He edits The Mantle Poetry from Pittsburgh, PA. (