The Years Are Crossed

I have studied how a day
can pinpoint the loss

of the day before,
can zero out

the darkness balanced
behind a bullet.

The slow glare
of a frozen lake

in mid-winter
accuses me without reason

though I walk by on crystals
creaking quiet as I can.

The years are crossed
with light I have no way

of triangulating.
I keep pressing myself

into their bright slivers
clawing at them

until they are under
my nails with nothing

to pare back.


Walk in the Dark

Stars are meant to be held
in a snowy field

burning a hole
in the frost.

When you see them glint
between buildings

it is a sign
you have gone too far:

entered the alley
to escape the glare

of headlights in the rain,
screams of sirens.

When you walk
in the dark

light folds,
until it reaches a limit

only light can define.
The pavement is meant

to be littered,
butts and shoes,

empty purses.


Easy River

To know sadness
it must fill you
until the silt

can be parted
with a small finger.
The trickle you carried

all those years
came down a stone face
slow enough to hear

your body talking back.
It never dawned on you
how many times you walked

down the hallway in the dark
so soft it stopped you
from thinking.

An easy river
deceives by twisting
thousands of miles

not moving an inch,
crawling forever on a belly
of slow mud.


Greg Jensen has worked with unhoused adults living with mental illnesses and addiction problems for over 20 years. His work has appeared in ‘december,’ ‘Bodega,’ ‘Crab Creek Review,’ ‘Fugue,’ ‘Belletrist,’ and ‘Dunes Review.’ Greg holds an MFA in Poetry from Pacific University.