Years: 2009, 2010, 2011
Rickey Laurentiis was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation, the Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, and a Chancellor’s Fellowship from Washington University in St Louis, where he is completing his MFA. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in several journals, including Alaska Quarterly Review, Callaloo, Feminist Studies, Indiana Review, jubilat, Oxford American and Poetry.
Take it Easy
That the light stalks your skin,
no, that your skin makes it: a radiating
hum, jive, a freedom, a beehive
packed just as much with honey as does it
hazard; also, a balm for where the sting sits,
a treaty, country upon which I first
laid my claim, but was usurped; where
carefully do I move to cross it again. Now here
come my lips to it, pink over your body’s
good bark. Now here is my mouth, entire.
I’m scared of you, baby, it says, scared like a god
is of his faithful—and like the faithful. Light
-struck. Delighted. Terrorstuck. Come, lift up
your gates, your countenance spread like a lily upon me:
whip me, I am so whipped. These are my eyes.
--first printed in The Feminist Wire