Jon Riccio

Everyday Diode


The language of a light bulb shares a kilowatt’s syntax,
practices ceiling diction. You could drink out of one,

if brighten-shatter. Nothing lives in a photon except
insect wings that permeate a Phillips-® scepter.

Translating a flicker, as simple as renaming
yourself halogen. Juice is cranberry or volt

worth a flare in the hands of a highway majorette.
Your neck a desk lamp, a compliment

for contortionist, the equivalent thirsty
filament. In my talk with Susan and Jaydn,

whose screens fluoresced, I claimed the bulb’s
taken after vertebrates, its makeover helical,

not ovate. A sparkler burn and record-player
shock made me Top-40 averse. Gigabytes

are beautiful but can’t replicate unison
bassoons in the second movement of

Sibelius No. 2, their sound like spelunking
with stuffed peppers for shoes.

When a switch is depicted,
it’s a treatise on a fingertip.

Welter is not warrantee.
I mourn better well-lit.






Jon Riccio teaches creative writing at the University of West Alabama. His collection, Agoreography, was recently published by 3: A Taos Press.