Love Again

Jason B. Crawford


i am a whiskey gut of an ex-lover

i am syringed into the side of the vein

and that is the way i learned to love

drunk, and face deep in another man’s 

Pocket waiting for him to spread like 



maybe that’s why my body 

has so much bark on it

and i wait for him to leave me open

like a rusted can, for our mouths to

become bear traps not set, for him to

chew at the loose bones of my

fingertips, for him to say that is



do you remember when we were kids and

our hands spoke with all the knowledge?

the sandbox, our textbooks what am i, if

not skin filled with sand? and your arms

just buckets pulling parts of me away to

read again



i guess that’s how the story is always written

love born in the back of a cab, crying 

and sweating unhinging and reclaiming jaws



the story goes…


at the parade, the boy kissed my mouth

like an airsoft gun, i could taste my salt

in his gums. i held the hands of a boy i

just met in the back of an uber while his

husband sang along to drake in the front

seat we made the summer innocent, made

it wine sweet slightly bittered, drank in

the back of a pick up truck
ain’t that america?


in the spirit of full disclosure, i am a

guitar missing three strings i make a

different sound when my tongue opens

i have seen my body spill over for the

wrong kind so many times yet i regret

nothing from this

to be young and in love and holding the

hands of a man on a street that won’t

accept you to become not the wall but the

ground under it and for that to be enough



all my favorite hats all say LOVER on

them it must mean something 



in seventh grade, i was afraid to touch the

other boys during the pickup games in

gym class maybe i was afraid they would

touch me back



i have learned how to aerosol can my

feelings back into my stomach and i am

just waiting for the right thumb to come

and press me so i can paint myself all

over them to make them a portrait i can


Jason B. Crawford is black, bi-poly-queer, and a damn force of nature. In addition to being published in online literary magazines, such as BeLightFilled and The Knight’s Library, Jason is a recurring host poet for Ann Arbor OUTFest. He is currently working on publishing his second volume of poetry, and will be Ann Arbor Poetry’s featured poet in March 2019. Twitter handle: @jasonbcrawford