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Seeds of Glass

Jake Bailey

IMAGE: Julie Bovee

Jake Baileyis a schiZotypal experientialist with work in The American Journal of Poetry, Diode, Palette Poetry, Tar River Poetry, and elsewhere. He received his MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles and lives in Illinois with his wife and their three dogs. Find him on Twitter @SaintJakeowitz and at

first showed me

their ways

at the age of ten

when my brother

and I stood

in a yard baked

into yellow blades

sharp as the wit

of comedians 

I would never find

funny like a clown

at a funeral making

balloon animals

that say 


the way I did

when the football

in my hands soared

over liquid atmosphere

into the front window

of my grandfather’s

house where I learned 

how to properly cast

a fishing line

just to catch

mostly algae blooms

instead of the meat

we needed for dinner

so we would order

pizza instead 

of the quiet lives

spent in ponds

where the latest

snack could be

your last

and the woman

across the street

yelled, “Bob Ed’s

gonna kill you!”

and made me wonder

about the limits

of a person, what

it takes to break

a pane of glass

that stood 

for three decades

as a tree first reaching

the sky, asking

what it could possibly

mean to be felled

or shattered

into the door

next to the window

where my grandfather

came out to tell me that

anything that doesn't grow

can be replaced

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