Swing Low

By Rickey Laurentiis Rickey Laurentiis
We aren’t the solid men.
       We bend like the number seven.
Dig at corners, eat cobwebs, we
      are barefoot and bare-legged.
      We hang like leaves in autumn.

We aren’t the stolid men.
      We scribble in familiar ink
about sunfalls and night. We
      see the white in the sky, and sigh.
      We lie with penciled grins.

We aren’t the men, any men.
      We rip at the neck and wonder why
while rattlers roll in. Bent
      as a number, crooked, sundered,
      we aren’t the idle lightning

if black thunder.

Source: Poetry (November 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2012
 Rickey  Laurentiis


Rickey Laurentiis is the author of Boy with Thorn, selected by Terrance Hayes for the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize (University of Pittsburgh Press). He is recipient of a 2014 fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy, a 2013 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a 2012 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Life Choices, The Body, The Mind, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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