The Next Day

The will constricts. To do becomes have done.
Of all the amber stains the dappled light
of morning spreads across the body, none
reveals the wound that matters. None has quite

the look or feel of scattered shot, how holes
converge and bleed as one. How presence drains
the past of love. How memory extolls
the pain as virtue undersold, a grain

of poison pressed beneath the tongue
until its burn subsides. It’s not enough
to splinter the sun, the jagged shards hung
like teeth from a string at the throat, to toughen

up, to shut it down. There’s still the matter
of what remains. The chalk outline. The splatter.

–from The Seed Vault (2019). Reprinted by permission of Eyewear Publishing.

Lucas Jacob is the author of the full-length poetry collection The Seed Vault (Eyewear Publishing, 2019) and the chapbooks A Hole in the Light (Anchor & Plume Press, 2015) and Wishes Wished Just Hard Enough (Seven Kitchens Press, 2019). His poetry and prose have appeared in print journals including Southwest Review, Hopkins Review, and RHINO, and online in journals including Valparaiso Poetry Review, Sequestrum, and Jet Fuel Review. He is a high school teacher and writing-instruction consultant whose career has brought him many wonderful things, including the honor of serving as a Fulbright Fellow in Budapest, Hungary. His author site is and he can also be found on Twitter at @Lucas_J_Jacob

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