Jon Riccio


Listen to the audio version.

A crimewave could enter your needle puncture,
crosshairs drawn on the machine's ceiling.

Given scrubs, shower-cap shoes, not the gown
you expect. Pay before the tunnel turns hospital

terracotta. An hour ago you assigned "The Petrified
Man," belt abetting teacher pants. The Hungarian

opthoneurologist corrects your pronunciation
of Bartók, sheet music for his Viola Concerto

fastened to your refrigerator by ions less
god-like. Radiology rug, you've made

a tuning fork of the head. A mega-magnet
interpolates dye the color of inkjet

jaundice. Toppled silo's conveyor
threshes gray-matter caress.

* * *


Listen to the audio version.

I think of my eye photograph on the surgeon's screen,
macular abnormalities simmering retinal yolk.

Nobody outside Michigan cares about the Petoskey stone,
pebble glorified to passage rite. See one skip one,

peninsular youth complete. Outside Mississippi
the nearest specialist for my diseased eye

practices in New Orleans. He's booked Mardi Gras
on. Some want the king cake, I want to read

normally again. Chartwork—sounds nautical—
anchor lodged in sclera. Hematite, your touristy

luster usurped by asparagus stands during beach
season. I promise not to stare at the sun

  &nbp;     &nbp;  on Michigan license plates
bridging my vision changes each week.


Jon Riccio is a queer poet living with acute macular neuroretinopathy. A PhD candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Writers, he received his MFA from the University of Arizona. Recent poems appear in decomP, SUSAN, and Word For/ Word.