Two Poems by Rickey Laurentiis

Little Song

          Given what I am,      if
not cannibal for, animal for:       he
                        who let go a door in me, be-
cracked my sternum to a hundred flashing moths, oh handsome, oh — Truth
                    be told:      I hungered this, needled it out, I
        stretched for this.        Always a field stirs, would
                                                     stir, for want of being filled.        Dwell
of me, my Eden, my Hook.        In
                                    pleasure weren’t we founded?        At the
                           start didn’t we blend and blur?    I would be his bravery, illusion
            of his fearlessness and his fear.    Given what I am   only,    of
meat: cut fire:           the inconsolable:           of these, Him.

Epitaph on a Stone

Like you, I was born underwater.
(I lied: there was never a stone.)
Like you, I was born but that’s not the half of it:
I lived. Lord, I lived. Like a cancer, I crept
sideways. Like a scorpion, I lied. I lived
the way a problem lives, openly, so much
earth wanted me closed. Don’t you know the dead
are not easy? Don’t you know they crave?
I stepped out of the water (I was made doing this) slick-
skinned, fluent, a character: my eyes twice
haunted, my humor, my voice — and can’t you hear
shackles running the length of my voice? I was born
in a minute, in a panic, on a whim. A mistake,
I mean. A choice between this world and a body,
pretty fault where a heart should be.

“Little Song” and “Epitaph on a Stone” are from Boy with Thorn, by Rickey Laurentiis © 2015.  All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260.  Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Isn't It Romantic

“how he bends the wrist almost until it snaps”