Poetry: The Lights by Remi Recchia

Under lights & cover bands we moved, dripping rum & sweat
down buttons, down beards, down flies—I was your toad
prince, your helicopter at Rapunzel’s Tower: always crashing
when I could be climbing, always falling when I could be standing,
as if glued to the floor like a lime fallen from a Tequila shot-
glass clear as the moon over water pulling my shoelaces
knotted into a sand grave, my feet capering on top of the deep
water trench like a marionette without strings but somehow
still guided from above by a gray-faced man; his fingers crawled
over my inhibitions & said jump jump little toad I know you
can hear me & I said but what if my card gets declined
again but he didn’t care—he saw that statement in the mail,
that thin, unassailable indictment, stretched invisible under
black lights & throbbing tongue-sore, & the gray-faced
man’s smile looked an awful lot like the River Styx: slightly
sideways & dividing lies from truth & that’s the problem,
isn’t it? We could never tell when the lights would drown.

Remi Recchia is a trans poet and essayist from Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is a Ph.D. candidate in English-Creative Writing at Oklahoma State University. He currently serves as an associate editor for the Cimarron Review. A four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Remi’s work has appeared or will soon appear in Best New Poets 2021, Columbia Online Journal, Harpur Palate, and Juked, among others. He holds an MFA in poetry from Bowling Green State University. Remi is the author of Quicksand/Stargazing (Cooper Dillon Books, 2021); his chapbook, Sober, is forthcoming with Red Bird Chapbooks.

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