Paul Jones

My Life as a Scorpion

began in darkness.

I was my own light.

The glow from within

was all I needed.

The faded blue-green.

The subtle pale blend.

By that I could see

and almost be seen.

My sting, a shining

poisonous lantern,

first coolness then burn,

was all I brought you—

the fire of knowing

what was soon to come:

your body swollen,

soft, sweet and tender,

before the hungry

tearing of my claws.

My Precious Death

I haven’t been giving it enough

thought these days. Not like I did before.

Then every cough, every ache

flashed like a damn police car

demanding that I pull over,

that I present credentials to show

my organ donor status, my official

photo, my blood type, insurance—

the whole circus show of identity—

as if that was who I was, who I am,

who I will be when I’m laid out

and made ready to be laid down.


In the mirror, last night I saw the skull-

faced cop behind me. He had one hand

touching the brim of his dark and silver hat

and the other, yes, I saw it, on his gun.

Paul Jones has published poetry in many journals including Poetry, 2 River View, Red Fez, River Heron Review as well as in cookbooks, in travel anthologies, in a collection about passion (What Matters?), in a collection about love (…and love…), and in The Best American Erotic Poems: 1800 - Present (from Scribner). Recently, he was nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and two Best of the Web Awards. His chapbook is What the Welsh and Chinese Have in Common.