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Free Verse: Catherine Rankovic

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 18, 2010 - This month's poem is by Catherine Rankovic. Brutal honesty and painful humor usually characterize this writer's poetry and essays. "Hide & Sex" is no exception -- although the savage truth here dresses in the clothes of a children's game, wears several layers of irony and flirts with the sonnet.


Let us play Hide & Sex.
You hide out in the world and I
will find you for sex. It
could take decades because I can have sex
with only you. With no one else. Five billion
people on earth and we each get only one
truly sanctioned chance. Everything else
there are laws against. These are the rules:
It must be you. You are "the one."
If I find you I must buy a white dress.
We must meet at a place which will grant excuses.
There will be a permanent record of our pairing.
After that the sex must be provided or it's no fair.

Catherine Rankovic is the author of “Fierce Consent and Other Poems” (WingSpan, 2005), and “Meet me: Writers in St. Louis” (Penultimate Press, 2010). She teaches at Washington University.

To learn more about River Styx, click here . Richard Newman, River Styx editor for 15 years, is the author of two full-length poetry collections. He teaches poetry and literature at St. Louis Community College and co-directs the River Styx at Duff's reading series.