Lullaby with Incendiary Device, Breached Hull, & Oil Slick by Dante Di Stefano


Before you were born, I dreamed you
into each cadence I would ever hear.
You board a paper boat and cross the sea.
One note of bluebird’s orison endures.
I love you so much the schooners inside
my heart keep crashing into each other
and capsizing, but, at least, they aren’t
all sunk yet, and no sailors have drowned
so far. What I mean by this is simple:
stay close always. Teach me to crayon fire.
Better yet, teach me the crazy hairstyles
of fire burning on the water’s surface,
my dear little one. Teach me what the fire
looks like from the underside of a wave.


Dante Di Stefano is the author of two poetry collections: Love Is a Stone Endlessly in Flight (Brighthorse Books, 2016) and Ill Angels (Etruscan Press, 2019). His poetry essays, and reviews have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Sewanee Review, The Writer’s Chronicle, and elsewhere. Along with María Isabel Álvarez, he is the co-editor of the anthology, Misrepresented People: Poetic Responses to Trump’s America (NYQ Books, 2018).