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By Kara Jackson

              still, living like they orbit one another,
my grandfather, the planet, & grandma, his moon assigned
by some gravitational pull. they have loved long enough
for a working man to retire. grandma says she’s not tired,

she wears her husband like a coat that survives every season,
talks about him the way my parents talk about vinyl—
the subject salvaged by the tent of their tongues.
grandma returns to her love like a hymn, marks it with a color.

when the world ends will it suck the earth of all its love?
will i go taking somebody’s hand,
my skin becoming their skin?
the digital age is taking away our winters,

and i’m afraid the sun is my soulmate,
that waste waits for a wet kiss,
carbon calls me pretty, and i think
death is a good first date.

i hope when the world ends it leaves them be,
spares grandpa and his game,
grandma spinning corn into weight,

the two of them reeling into western
theme songs, the TV louder
than whatever’s coming.

Illustration by Rhea Vega. Two older Black people face each other on a background of stars, clouds, and a flowering cactus. They appear to hover over a grid.

Source: Poetry (March 2021)

  • Love
  • Relationships

Poet Bio

Kara Jackson
Kara Jackson is a singer/songwriter, musician, and writer from Oak Park, Illinois. Jackson served as the third National Youth Poet Laureate from 2019– 2020. She is the author of Bloodstone Cowboy (Haymarket Books, 2019). See More By This Poet

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