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two poems

by Jacob Griffin Hall

Love Song for "Georgia on My Mind"

Two unrelated things

can share a name.

It’s inadequate to say

all’s well that ends

at all. Two people

toe the basketball court

dusted with snow.

I take a picture,

replace it

with another picture.

I don’t expect

the song

but it comes.


On the Beach You Took My Body to Mean More Than I Meant with My Body

Instead of death, an unused burgundy

casket. Instead of truth a thing

I refuse myself, but allow

the rooms I inhabit. I’ve thanked so many

people. My love grows

and falls, as if hypnotized,

into the water. I’ve lost my nerve

and been better for it.

You, my lack of nerve, are a hypnotist

and God is waiting for us

on the ridge where cedars yield to oak,

where I fall asleep without you

and choke on wild berries,

staring through the branches at the sky.

I’d like to believe everything I’ve lived.

I’d like to watch without a care

the passing blankets of fog

and tongue them all just for the chance at it.

Actually, as I remember,

I stood between August and September

bowing to the sober light.

You said to me, these are the women

I could love. I said to you,

these are the men

whose bodies turn my flesh to flesh.

You held the surf

between your shoulder blades,

made the waves a bed.


Jacob Griffin Hall was raised outside of Atlanta, Georgia and lives in Columbia, Missouri,

where he teaches and works as poetry editor for The Missouri Review. His first collection of poetry, Burial Machine, won the 2021 Backlash Best Book Award and is available with

Backlash Press. His poems have appeared in 32 Poems, New Ohio Review, Black Warrior Review, DIAGRAM, New Orleans Review, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere.


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