Southern Light

by Rickey Laurentiis


is different. See it bend
like fingers of a man at the shaft
________of his penis—watch it grab

to what it wants like it already
owns it. Has the what-you-looking-at
________kind of eyes, before it flings

back on the blackish river. Don’t ever
apologize. Don’t ever bat a lash. Never
asks, River, can I use

your great, big old body,
can I use it like a trumpet
does his player (and don’t you

look at those lips when they through),
can I use you like a plate,
like a piece of metal—to see

the white glitter of myself?
Yeah—I know it’s a mess.
I know it’s just like jazz. All the men,

seated, their lip-smacking, brown eyes
winking, saying Lay it on me.
Let me feel it in the gut. —And that light

spot-blinking off the brass pipes,
mouthing What you say, boy?
mouthing What?


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