The First

she went out
deeper into
the river

            If the shore trees sweep across my hair

until the warm water
rose unto her lips

            If their purple blossoms fall

she first saw
the tree
on the far bank

            If they are becoming

against the setting sun

            If it lead me farther
                                                into light


Distant Lightening

I saw
a freightcar

on the tracks
crossing main.

a backyard,
an above
ground pool
against the night

like a fish's
blue eye
at the bottom of a boat.

I'll kill you

Darin told me
years ago

after I kissed
his girlfriend

with my
mouth open



Jack Mclaughlin was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He earned a BA in English Writing and Literature from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and is currently an MFA candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University.