Shajuan Jackson


I’m driving down the road,
the longest highway I’ve ever seen,
no rest stop in sight,
and my tank is almost empty.
I see no one in my rearview mirror,
except my carcass.
Am I a butterfly?
A sweet melody echoes in my heart.
The road ahead, lined with
trees, grass, and a risen sun, hums.
It’s almost blinding
to feel like the air rushing by
the mountains beside me,
reminding me how small I am
and that it is okay.
Who am I, but a flea?
My wheels keep turning.
My engine keeps burning.
I wipe away falling raindrops.
My skin awakens.
I keep going,
Why do stars only come out at night?
This road has no end.
I must stay in my lane
and turn when the dream
bends in a new direction.
My wheel may be stiff,
but I was made to turn,
I was designed to keep going.

Long Beach

When you first open the car door,
a cool breeze cuts through your skin,
and then the sun warms your blood.
You hear waves crashing against the shore,
the scent of salt and seaweed waft in the air.
By then you know you’re at Long Beach.
Apartments and condos line the beach front,
and a wooden boardwalk sits atop the sand.
When you step onto the ramp,
you hear a deep rumble.
A bike rolls through, pulsing
vibrations throughout your body.
I remember when I was little,
we would sit on one of the benches,
and I’d peer through the gap of the fence
as if I was watching a moving picture.
There’d be people on the beach,
walking barefoot in the hot sand,
playing volleyball, or sunbathing.
The seagulls would squawk
as they dip their beaks for scraps.
Some would rest on the rows of rocks
stretching into the ocean
while waves rush to the shore and recede.
At night, the cool breeze becomes cooler,
the beach is cast in shadows,
and lit with amber lamps.
The sky becomes ink,
the ocean turns black,
and the distant boats twinkle like stars.

Shajuan Jackson was born and raised in Long Island, NY. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing. He currently lives in Ohio and is pursuing an Associates Degree in Business Management with a Certificate in Digital and Social Media Marketing at Eastern Gateway Community College. Throughout his life, writing has been a major form of his artistic expression. He is currently working on a collection of poetry which is scheduled to be released for publication in the fall.

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