Love Note
by Mark Jackley

It fell out of the book 
I was reading in the tub.
I guess you meant to surprise me.
It worked. I was surprised

that when it landed on my naked belly 
I could not
find enough soap 
to wash an old wound

or scrub hard enough
to feel clean.

Car Repair For Poets

when I tried to start my car 
in the dream by popping the hood 
and lighting a votive candle
nothing happened. But,
the flame danced like a road
far below a flock of starlings 
scattering our names
in the alphabet of dusk.

November Evening

a dried-up cornstalk waves 
like a contract that was signed
the day I was born

empty furniture 
on dark lawn

the aspirin moon 
dissolves into the stillness 
of a rake

tomorrow will 
be warmer
so they say

the hood of my old Buick 
will beam proudly 
in the sun 

like a Roman shield, 
before and 
after the war

Mark Jackley lives and works in Purcellville, Virginia. His poems have appeared in Fifth Wednesday, Sugar House Review, The Cape Rock, Natural Bridge, and other journals. His most recent collection of poems is On the Edge of a Very Small Town, available by emailing