WRITING MISSISSIPPI

Not quite as satisfying on a keyboard,
the word Mississippi  flows out of a fountain pen
like deep brown water flowing below a riverboat
while lightning licks around in the waterlogged sky above.

Those four esses slip out of the pen point
like New Orleans strippers slipping out of spangles and silk;
the eyes are closed sleepy and soft like warm Southern vowels.
Two peas trip along: high heels on the sidewalk,
or a door unlatched or latched at evening or at dawn.

And the four dots done quick,
right to left–
ih  ih  ih  ih–
little bursts of outbreath,
sufficing.

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