Lightly

Here's a recent poem by Dorianne Laux published in Blip, the newish online journal formerly known as Mississippi Review Online. Click on over to their site to read a second poem, "Second Hand Coat," which is a 530 word prose poem, a form that I haven't seen Dorianne write in all that much.

Also, in case you haven't heard, Dorianne's new book is forthcoming from Norton. It is called The Book of Men, and it will be released toward the end of February (though these "strict laydown date" poetry books usually have a way of shipping earlier than the date stamped on the website). Here's a link to a poem forthcoming in her new collection: "To Kiss Frank."




First Light


Lightly, she had to touch him lightly,

because he almost wasn’t there, that first boy

who came to her beneath the drunken stars,

clothes unwound like ban­dages revealing

the flesh that glowed within like bread, salty

clav­i­cle, arched bone filled with marrow

she sucked as her womb shook, the bellows

of her breasts bil­low­ing, soft pillows

he now pressed his tilted head against,

his breath unspool­ing into the hollow

of her throat, lift­ing the finest hairs

at her neck’s nape. She stroked him then,

like a horse, his long back, his dark­ling spine,

and watched the grasses on the hills sway

and rip­ple, lis­tened to the loud crickets

chip away the night. She had stepped

into the old­est church, the windows

bro­ken, her bare feet on stones hauled up

from the val­ley below thou­sands of years ago,

the sun and stars still inside them, and she had

stood there, a non-believer, and wept.


Dorianne Laux
from Blip (formerly Mississippi Review Online)