Thomas Locicero – 2 poems

My Father’s House


Before the war, he’d let himself be known.


Even children, especially children,

With their unquenchable curiosity


And how that innate part of them plays its game

With delight, would tire of the secrecies

That would finally haunt my father’s house


Like disordered spirits perambulating,

Now fixtures, no longer having to pretend

To belong. They are more at home than I am.

I see the shadows of my father. I see


His whispers, shapes, outlines. I see his stories.

But I’ve learned his stories are not his secrets.

He showed so much of nothing, so much nothing.

He gave me a place and a time, a timestamp,

Some comic dialogue and killer punchlines.


For a passing moment, it was magical.

It is, all of it, worthy of repeating.

But it is all bread and very little meat.

In his house, I am an interloper.

He is the subtle scent that breath leaves behind.

They are the lovers between husbands and wives.


Grasping at Air


Shoulders torn by the pride and folly of youth

curse the unreachable itch, which teases like

a child with his thumbs in his ears, rotating

his wagging fingers, daring you to catch him.

But children are easy to catch, so you make

sure you’re always a step behind and when,

inevitably, he makes a wrong turn

and runs into you, you grasp at air with a

big swoop of your young shoulders and let him go.

Now they are your first sign of aging. Now age

chases you and when she catches you, she

does not grasp at air but grabs you by the

shoulders, the knees, the back, the eyes, the skin,

and you know she is just scratching the surface.

Next, she will take the cells, the lungs, the heart,

the lust with no intention of letting go.

Then she begins to take away your humor

and all you care about keeping is your mind.


Thomas Locicero’s poems have appeared on all seven continents in such literary magazines as The Satirist, The Pangolin Review, Roanoke Review, Boston Literary Magazine, Bindweed Magazine, Antarctica Journal, Poetry Pacific, The Ghazal Page, Birmingham Arts Journal, Boomer Lit, Hobart, and vox poetica, among others. He resides in Broken Arrow, OK.


Thomas Locicero – 3 poems 

The Two Will Become One Flesh

Should we believe that we were meant to live
inside each other, we would then forgive
our sins, old and new, and petty differences
and feed each other words, not inferences.
Let our disagreements help each other learn
love is not a given but a gift we earn.
I will not search for a mate for my soul.
What of my mind, body, spirit, the whole
of me? But I cannot tell you what to seek,
though, as you do, I might hide what is weak
in me, my shortcomings, my scuffles with sin,
those rounds I’ve never been able to win.
But were your flesh and mine to become one,
we will fight as such till our battles are won.





I would be tied up in myself,
a thousand knots threaded as one,
and you would unravel but not
unravel me. You stood thick
about me, drawn aside, arcane,
unable to be decoded. You with
your coal-dust voice. What did
you trade for it? You said you
wanted better for me, yet you
insisted I follow you in. I went
to bed in the dark of night me
and woke in the dark of day you.




Further Evidence That Hell Visits Earth


To spill your secrets to a friend who shares them,

To profess love to one who loves another,

To confess sins to a righteous condemner,

To share your life with a selfish lover,

To argue anything with the ignorant,

To have salvation faith but not healing faith,

To fall in bed exhausted and not find sleep,

To work your whole life and live in poverty,

To not have pondered the color of water,

To never have had a garden or a book,

To know, like Keats, the meaning of blood’s color,

To not have known and then to be blindsided,

To not have made peace before your voice ceases,

These are evidence that hell visits Earth.




Thomas Locicero’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming inRoanoke Review, Boston Literary Magazine, Long Island Quarterly, The Good Men Project, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Jazz Cigarette, Quail Bell Magazine, Rat’s Ass Review, Antarctica Journal, Scarlet Leaf Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Hobart, Ponder Review, vox poetica, Poetry Pacific, Brushfire Literature & Arts Journal, Indigo Lit, Saw PalmFine Lines, New Thoreau Quarterly, and Birmingham Arts Journal, among other journals. He resides in Broken Arrow, OK.