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.