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a. (1997)

Arrival at twenty-one

cocks his tam sideways.

Deep-freeze nod

to alley deacons & white folks.

Terry Derell

strums corduroy-gray


Chlora is his tiramisu—

he’s indiscriminate

pot & vodka-cranberry wise.

b. (2012)

Maria Inés

backhanded the hurt—


Common shoulders

glittered for night-prerequisites.

Eye sockets

house sass-glass.

Her Louboutin’s are hers.

Jazz is novel nectar.

Moon-swayed—she’s absosucculent.

c. (1974)

Snatched from

tight-eyed scribble,

water boils,

china shards scrape,

white kittens meow.

What night is this, Rodney?

Amid jumbo pencils,

red satchel & Crayola,

candy corn & wide-lined,

pee-wet paper,

my mama’s teeth

sweep the linoleum.

from Sweetgum & LightningFind more by Rodney Terich Leonard at the library

Copyright © 2021 Rodney Terich Leonard
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

Published in Poems Rodney Terich Leonard

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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