I could string him back up the tree, if you’d like.
Return his skin’s meaning to an easy distance, coal dust, blaze
And Willie Brown him. You
Love how the blood muddies the original,
The way it makes a stage of my speechifying, this leeching
Capital from his dying,
Like an activist. I know
I’m not supposed to sing
Of his ringing
Penetrability, some hole I open impose
On the form—but all I see is bullets, bullets discerning him,
As years ago it was rope.
I could pull it tighter, finger each bullet deeper,
If you’d like, an inch rougher,
Far enough to where becomes that second heat, erotic.
I could use the erotic,
If you’d like,
So ungarish, baring not too frank
A mood, subtle so you need it.— Funny
How some dark will move illicit if you close your eyes,
The way, say, my black
Pleasure is named too explicit for a page, but this menace
I put in it is not.
I could yank and knot
The rope, if you’d like, him like a strange fragment
In them trees,
And the word “again” spelled out about his neck
Would be the rope’s predicate till let wild, patterned and
Fierce his moan.
It is a tragedy. No. It is a sonnet, how I know
Already how he ends,
But I could make him
Her, if you’d like, regender them till merely
Canvas for your “empathy,”
Soup for my mouth. Still, if I could but just get
Burnt lynched body up
Out the pocket behind my eye
All trees could be themselves again, all sound.
Copyright © 2018 by Rickey Laurentiis. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 21, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
& of the lattermath I can only say that with the rain the cattails grew so high that the longing nearly subsided this morning I am all moonshine on the snowbank clockwise back to a better self I am tenderfoot daisywheel though yesterday I was warpath and daydreams of underfoot animals o my fishhook in sheepskin I want to spacewalk in time with you to teaspoon sugar into your mouth to clean horsehairs from under your fingernails honeymoon of the longhouse I’ll meet you on the shadyside of the limestone for years I grew lukewarm with a backache but now I am whitefish and blackberries I am forbearer and undercurrent buttermilk and motherhood watertight thunderbird forgive me my wipeout my deadend and foremost forgive me my butterball my washrag wrung out the grasslands of the graveyard I nearly misrecognized what I almost became eggshell watercolor drained pipe goodbye o my forever bedclothes yours is the body warmblooded washbowl that I seahorse into night after night and the dogwood timepiece ticks the gumball fruitcup earache of our girls you my wavelength my tailbone lemonlime jellybean crewcut backstroke beachcomber I do I do
Copyright © 2018 by Nicole Callihan. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 19, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.