May 1, 2016

Sometimes When I am Listening to Wynton Marsalis

Sometimes When I Am Listening to Wynton Marsalis


by Dante Di Stefano


I inveigh against carnations and roses sold in gas stations. I praise God for the vase of your hands, cupping my face in the dark. I dress sharp: three piece, staccato, white tie, black cat, cuff links forged from a nebula. I take notes for making the perfect roux. I carry John the Conqueror Root in my nation sack. I speak in séance and lament the dementia of witches subverted by their own spells. I make sketches of George Washington’s wooden dentures and uproot the saplings planted by Johnny Appleseed. I oppose empire, but I imagine myself wearing a powdered wig and a tricorne hat. I am my own founding father. I caterwaul a briar patch and thump moonlight into teleology. I come undone like a hammock unslung, like, girl, I hate to see you go, but I love to watch you walk away, so fine and plump and bouncing in those tight jeans.


Dante Di Stefano‘s collection of poetry, Love Is a Stone Endlessly in Flight, is forthcoming from Brighthorse Books. His poetry and essays have appeared in The Writer’s Chronicle, Obsidian, Shenandoah, Brilliant Corners, Iron Horse Literary Review, and elsewhere. He has won the Thayer Fellowship in the Arts, The Red Hen Press Poetry Award, The Crab Orchard Review‘s Special Issue Feature Award in Poetry, and The Ruth Stone Poetry Prize. He lives in Endwell, NY.

Image: “Wynton Marsalis at Lincoln Center in 2004”, by Feinstein Photos