I Saw I Dreamt Two Men

By Rickey Laurentiis Rickey Laurentiis
I saw I dreamt

Two men hoisted hung up not American the rope
Not closed on their breathing

But this rope tied them spine to spine somehow

From the mood of a tree not American they were

African Ugandan Nigerian

Without a license a right to touch
The sin their touching incites

And I heard their names called out Revision

Or Die and You Must Repent
And Forget the Lie you Lily-Boys you Faggots

Called up from the mob

Of their mothers their fathers
With Christ in the blood who had Christ in the blood

Who sung out “Abide with Me”

This was my eyes’ closed-eyed vision
This is what a darkness makes

And how did I move from that distance to intimacy

So close I could see
The four soles of their feet so close I was kneeled

Could lick

Those feet as if I was because I became
The fire who abided

I saw that I dreamt

Their black skin made blacker by my feeding
I thought Christ

Why did I think

Their black skin tipped blacker by this American
Feeding but just one shot up

A cry African it was

American O Lord abide with me
It was human lusty flat

You had to be in the hollow of it to taste it

You had to see how in such lack
Invention takes hold

They say some dreams come in the moment

Of waking
Stitched because daylight likes a story

That some dreams are extensions

Of an itch
Thief-walking the coral of the brain

I say

But I did feel that one blue mouth blow out
As I felt

The mood of that tree

As I saw the other turn away apart stay with silence
I stayed with southern silence

Source: Poetry (July/August 2014).


This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

July/August 2014
 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, Sorrow & Grieving, Relationships, Social Commentaries, Gender & Sexuality, Race & Ethnicity

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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