Dante Di Stefano

Let the Mermaids Flirt With Me

When my earthly trials are over, carry my body out in the sea.
Save all the undertaker bills, let the mermaids flirt with me.

�Mississippi John Hurt

In idle moments I expect a chord
might break me into an understanding
with God and music steals nothing from death
when it�s played with the finned alacrity
of dangerous swims through such unknowing,
but most days I�m just serving sentences
that unwind like a dictionary of
words spoken by the anemone wind.

Today, I�m mourning my dead whose bodies
sparrow in their caskets under the ground
and the universe seems a motherless
child, quilting a blanket from orphaned light.

Rather than tell my sorrows to the stones,
let this frigate earth wheel and seduce me.

Dante Di Stefano

DANTE DI STEFANO is a Ph.D. candidate in Creative Writing at Binghamton University. His poetry and essays have appeared recently, or are forthcoming, in The Writer's Chronicle, Shenandoah, Brilliant Corners, The Hollins Critic, Bayou Magazine, and elsewhere. He was the winner of the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award, the Phyllis Smart-Young Prize in Poetry, and an Academy of American Poets College Prize. He currently serves as a poetry editor for Harpur Palate and he was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He makes his living as a high school English teacher in Endicott, New York.

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