I am going to cock my head tonight like a dog
in front of McGlinchy's Tavern on Locust;
I am going to stand beside the man who works all day combing
his thatch of gray hair corkscrewed in every direction.
I am going to pay attention to our lives
unraveling between the forks of his fine-tooth comb.
For once, we won't talk about the end of the world
or Vietnam or his exquisite paper shoes.
For once, I am going to ignore the profanity and
the dancing and the jukebox so I can hear his head crackle
beneath the sky's stretch of faint stars.

—Major Jackson

Rights & Access

From Leaving Saturn, 2002
The University of Georgia Press, Athens, GA

Copyright 2002 by Major Jackson.
All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission of The University of Georgia Press from Leaving Saturn, 2002. Copyright 2002 by Major Jackson. For further permissions information, contact The University of Georgia Press, 330 Research Drive, Suite B-100, Athens, GA 30602-4901.

  • Major Jackson

    Major Jackson (1968- ) is the author of five poetry collections, including Roll Deep: Poems (W. W. Norton and Company, 2015). He is a professor of English at the University of Vermont and a graduate faculty member of the New York University Creative Writing Program.