Interior Image

Rickey Laurentiis

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