Anthem for Paisley Park

By Dante Di Stefano


Because the world is cold-calling you now,
and somewhere the potential of a groove
is being calculated by the lump
in a throat, you have purpled over names
you’ve heard in pop songs, rethought the nations
inside a rhythm, and called down judgment
in the gyrating hips of a lover,
bucking you back to the infinite
contained in the groan of a melody.
Because you understood the doves whose flight
defines the contours of a single tear,
and you wept it in the marrow, bone-danced it,
you throbbed the funk of the lotus flower—
because you aurora a god called love.

Dante Di Stefano's collection of poetry, Love Is a Stone Endlessly In Flight, is forthcoming from Brighthorse Books. His poetry and essays have appeared in The Writer's Chronicle, Obsidian, Shenandoah, Brilliant Corners, Iron Horse Literary Review, and elsewhere. He was the winner of the Thayer Fellowship in the Arts, The Red Hen Press Poetry Award, The Crab Orchard Review's Special Issue Feature Award in Poetry, The Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award, The Ruth Stone Poetry Prize,The Phyllis Smart-Young Prize in Poetry, The Bea González Prize in Poetry, and an Academy of American Poets College Prize. He earned his PhD in Poetry from Binghamton University and he makes his living as a high school English teacher in Endicott, New York.