Green Hills Literary Lantern

In the Nursery of Priests


Drunk again on altar wine, I veer like a rudder

torn from a sinking boat, down the vaulted hall

where my fellow seminarians sleep their innocence away.


Close behind, I feel the Shadow, the one we call Lucifer,

an errant gust of light. Just like earlier in the library,

as I conjured the juju of my Latin texts,

trying to turn leaden me into gold,


and in the rec room – the click of billiard balls,

the clunk of coke bottles, black tongues thrust from the lips

of the soda machine – this is his world as much as mine.


He invented internal combustion, wife-swapping and the tutu.

And though I long to hurl myself upstream past pools

of motor oil and condoms, I know I am a hooked bluegill,

his barb flashing in my mouth like motel neon.





Lee Rossi’s poetry has appeared in Chelsea, Poetry East, The Sun, the Southern Indiana Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Nimrod, Poet Lore and earlier numbers of GHLL, as well as others. Recent work has been accepted by The Southern Poetry Review, Rhino, Poet Lore and Pool.