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By Rickey Laurentiis

About the dead having available to them

all breeds of knowledge,

some pure, others wicked, especially what is

future, and the history that remains

once the waters recede, revealing the land

that couldn’t reject or contain it, and the land

that is not new, is indigo, is ancient, lived

as all the trees that fit and clothe it are lived,

simple pine, oak, grand magnolia, he said

they frighten him, that what they hold in their silences

silences: sometimes a boy will slip

from his climbing, drown but the myth knows why,

sometimes a boy will swing with the leaves.


Source: Poetry (November 2012)

  • Arts & Sciences
  • Living
  • Mythology & Folklore

Poet Bio

Rickey Laurentiis
Rickey Laurentiis grew up in New Orleans and earned an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. They are the author of Boy with Thorn, selected by Terrance Hayes for the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize (University of Pittsburgh Press). Boy with Thorn also won the Levis Reading Prize, and was a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, the Thom Gunn Award, and a Lambda Literary Award. A 2012 Ruth Lilly Poetry fellow, they have also received awards from the Whiting Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.  They are the inaugural fellow in creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for African American Poetry and Poetics. See More By This Poet

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