I am in my blue childhood, and Finding a Game Token in My Change Jar by James Croal Jackson

I am in my blue childhood 

bedroom, black Walkman 

spinning CD-Rs of Mega Man

music. I want to dance– 

anything but obsidian. 

Scraped knees learning 

to ride a bike– bloodstained 

handlebars leaving the woods. 

I can handle myself better

now, not always falling into 

potholes I noticed yesterday. 

Last week, driving home

from work in the city, 

my tires hissed 

as they failed to replicate 

their cells, then blew out

in the middle of the road

in the warehouse district. 

But I had music going–

OverClocked ReMixes

from Chrono Cross,

which got me thinking

about the Winds of Time,

parallel universes,

the inevitability of Lavos–

I had to call for help. 

I spent green youth

cooped in front of 

the basement television. 

Now, if I were to fetishize

anything it would be

no real consequences–

to the cyclical parallels

of the universe.


Finding a Game Token in My Change Jar 

I shuffle through memory for 

a single midnight. What did we do 

at school? Redeem gold tokens 

at Swings ‘N’ Things? Cleveland led


me to lake by leash. We listened to Feist 

among lilacs and buttercups. We lived 

near the airport, never flew. I shouldn’t 

keep money for unusable transactions. What 

a concept, after the drinking started. If darkness 

is inevitable, please invite me to your party.


James Croal Jackson (he/him) is a Filipino-American poet who works in film production. He has two chapbooks, Our Past Leaves (Kelsay Books, 2021) and The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017). He edits The Mantle Poetry from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (jamescroaljackson.com)


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