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Vol. 2: 

On Identity

Confirmation | Dennison,
Ohio c. 1962

poem by Stephen Jackson

Bats swarmed treetops growing up from a drop-off
across the street—trees a hundred feet high to a boy

three feet from the ground. Heat warned of storms,
embraced a sinister chill, dusk stretched out in ragged

branches of light. Leaves revealed their undersides —
a sign from the wind to get yourself in. The din of

the train in the distance mixed with the strangest siren
I’d ever heard, like an angel’s trumpet in the devil’s

spit of a rain — a baptism, as sky unfurled a bruised,
yellow calm. Then later that evening, my mind turns

from dreams to mother’s scream when she finds it —
the baby bat that heeded the warning, found its way

in through an open window — from that day forward,
my suspicions of an exquisite existence, confirmed.

Anchor 1

Stephen Jackson lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. Other work is forthcoming or appears in 433, The American Journal of Poetry, Hole in the Head Review, Impossible Archetype, The Inflectionist Review, Stone of Madness Press, and S/WORD, as well as on the International Human Rights Art Festival Publishes platform. @fortyoddcrows

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