January 31, 2010

Mark Jackley


No one knew where his father was.
I was on the toilet, naked.
His mother, whom I barely knew,
was naked on her vast white bed.

When he, eight years old,
cried out for a moment in the darkness
of his room, dreaming, racing,
he too was far away.

—From There Will Be Silence While You Wait

Returning From the Clinic

You said you wanted comfort food
and so we stopped along the way
for chicken and dumplings,
mashed potatoes and gravy, a slice of pie.

That is, after taking a life,
we nourished ourselves, or tried.
We ate in silence, broken
by the scrape of knives.

—From There Will Be Silence While You Wait


Mark Jackley is the author of three chapbooks, most recently Cracks and Slats (Amsterdam Press). His first full-length collection, There Will Be Silence While You Wait, is available from Plain View Press. He lives in Sterling, VA.

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