We close this month of sexy, loving poems with one encore from each of the  poets who have fashioned our valentine of Poetry Fridays. Click on their highlighted names to see their bios, and much more of their words. Next week, we kick off a month of new beginnings, but are happy to linger in February’s sensual warmth a while longer.

Patricia Spears Jones


Your right hand is infant like—balled fist
holding heart’s sound

Last night’s drink stole your tongue’s usual ease
And yet you brought a storm moving faster, harder
inside me, and yes again, my heart was taken.

I watch you wake and move away
not even tears this time.

A Mocking Bird makes his presence known
across Brooklyn’s backyards

Your hands open and stroke my torso
Your mouth found mine at midnight

Now your mouth is dry from all that tasting, all that wine.
This morning both our faces rough from poor sleeping.
This is the slow unraveling, the backslide we knew could happen.

Your face has quieted, the boy more present than the man,
and my heartache diminishes, more woman than the girl.
Fooling around in the dark, ours is a music of mutual solos.

By dawn’s light we begin again to practice wisdom.
My neighbor’s radio screams bad news.

You leave.
I go to work.

From Painkiller, Tia Chucha Press, 2011.

Millicent Borges Accardi

Because Periodically it’s Important to Put a Lumberjack in a Poem

“I’m a lumber jack
And I’m OK,” he texted
Our crew, each of us newly
Minted double “e’s”
“I sleep all night and work
All day,” adding a line
To the Monty Python jingle,
As the message was distributed
Through the dull office of my first
Real job after college.
We found ways to rebel,
To put ourselves above the lifer
Engineers for whom
Defense and weapons were a lifetime
Tradition, a career to be put into
one’s body like oxygen. There were
The savings bonds every Friday,
The suits bought at Goodwill,
Just to fit in with the way people
Dressed in the 80’s. Us new hires
Did Gladstone’s for brunch, still
Snarking down icy vodka shots
As if we were back in school.
We played pass football and built
Model planes and held parties,
And laughed our way through work
As though it were a new statistics
Class we were testing out for a week.
Lying to ourselves about
What we valued. The salt of fear
Foreign to our tongues. Like leaves,
One by one, our futures changed.
Marriages, house payments, babies,
Divorces, the seriousness engulfed
Us, until even short shift meetings
Became life or death.

Tammy Nuzzo Morgan

Altar Boy

I know all about your Catholic upbringing.
I was raised with fear of the fires of hell.
Made to wear a veil        confess sins I did not
understand before I was allowed to take the body
of Christ into my mouth.

I know the ten commandments
been confirmed
& yet I want your skin to burn by my touch  
& my tongue to cool your fever.
We travel the pilgrimage of senses.
You’ll see your god as you moan
& shutter as I rise up off of you
become a being other than myself.

I want you to want    to need        to long as much as I do
to listen for my voice
that disturbs your dreams
makes you cry out in need when I draw near.

I want to take his cross
construct our bed
splay you on it
dangle rosary beads
between your fingers
push & withdraw with
each ‘Our Father’ & ‘Hail Mary’
that passes from your lips.

I want to be damned to hell.

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