Issue Thirty-Five - Winter 2020

My Laptop Malfunctions on Thanksgiving

By James Croal Jackson

The machine shut down after clicks and pops– the screen
flickered bright then dimmed and faded low into near-

zero invisibility. You said our love had become that,
crying into the dark on my chest. I couldn’t feel the tears,

but we feasted this Thankgiving on the blood of birds
and the kindness of vegetables, this ritual of melancholy

holidays at my mother’s home, the knife pushing
deeper and deeper into the flesh of tradition, and you

said that’s not what you wanted to become, some reliable
device upon which to take for granted, and I apologized,

I didn’t know why you were crying and I wasn’t, so you
turned the lights on and laugh-cried until we fell asleep.

Copyright 2020 Jackson