He gave her a locket shaped like an acorn. In it she could put whatever seed of memory would suit, a photo razor-cut to size or a hair curled out of its natural shape. Hanging at the end of every word she whispered was a hint that she might not keep the piece around her neck for very long; it depended, if only he’d known it, on how often he sat close and played with its clasp under the brush-fall of her hair. In deep, he didn’t pay enough attention to the way she turned her hips at his touch or to the slight easing of her shoulders when he held his distance just so. Independence, he assumed, meant days spent passing through glass doorways in buildings on opposite ends of town in order to spend nights together behind windows covered by long swathes of cloth well cut into certainties that fell just to the sills and not one inch beyond. But his hold on her was, like the fine but fragile chain she chose for the locket, unlikely to outlast its own prettiness, tethered only to an idea, nothing more in the end than the comma dangling at the turn from a dependent clause.



A stone drops from a bridge
over brackish water. Algae spreads,
opens a mirror to the day: shadows
and brush; bees circling; a bird
at flower’s foot, hacking at the stem.

Nothing to say.

The reflection fades;
in its last instant, the bird takes flight,
leaving only a quiver in the brush,
in the heart. A wince. Water clouds,
brush settles. Too late for

I’m sorry.

Lucas Jacob’s work has appeared in dozens of journals, including Southwest Review, Evansville Review, and Barrow Street, and is forthcoming in various others, including Western Humanities Review. He has won the Gival Press Tri-Language Poetry Prize and been a finalist for the Arts & Letters Poetry Prize. His chapbook A Hole in the Light is forthcoming in 2015 from Anchor & Plume Press. Jacob lives in Fort Worth, TX, where he works with countless talented young writers at the Trinity Valley School.