Louisiana Hayride Shivaree

by Dante Di Stefano

I’m unhitching a conjugal trailer
of stars so that you can dawdle with me,
my darling girl, my dandelion twirled
between thumb and forefinger of the god
who created pedal steel to explain
the sorrows of turtledoves and horses.

Come ride the ruts of a dirt road with me
and roll down the F-150’s window;
let me lean over your lap my .22,
shoot a rabid fox curled near a tombstone,
and grit the breeze to bloom under my teeth.
Wear flannel for me and sugar midnights.

I’ll bait bear for you. I’ll frog gig my heart
for you. I’ll gussy up the melodies
of some good old cracked tunes and fiddle them
for you. I’ll shift down out of second, let
your kiss catawampus my memories.
Your kiss tastes like vigilance and rebuke.

Cajole you just the tip of my whisper.
Your sweet-talk waddles me up a wombat.
Your voice is as husky as un-shucked corn.
Let’s converse in whoops and snapped banjo strings.
Come listen to kettle’s catcall with me
and let the woodstove ruminate on love.

We’ll sip ice cold Colorado Kool-Aid,
play twilight on a cigar box guitar,
and fulminate a honkytonk in bed;
let’s wrack the smashed pallets of our bodies
against each other, drench them in bourbon,
and erupt a damned bonfire from their scraps.

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 was the winner of 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.