An excerpt from the first pages of When Rap Spoke Straight to God, the new book-length poem by Erica Dawson, associate professor at the University of Tampa.When Rap Spoke Straight to GodWhen U-God from Wu-Tang said, You ain't heardus in a minute, rap spoke straight to God.When I broke bread, it was a syrup sandwich.I licked all the body off my nails.I saw two birds stalking a basketball court, rivaling a confirmation when they spottedbuckled asphalt and saw a growing squallgo smooth. And when they dove to break the surface —a reconciliation. I said to God, Just watchthe demonstration every night. You'll seeblackness kept in its station. I saw peace,one time, in fuchsia dusk — a fair tomorrow.And I saw dusk that plagiarized my oneand only prayer — Hallelujah. I'm ready to go searching for that mysterious dark when nightfall proves to be empty before the heavens turn red from the fire.A poem from Florida Man: Poems by poet and journalist Tyler Gillespie.Alligator Named Florida's Official State Reptile in 1987; or, Birth YearA male gator bellows: heart-stopping roarto attract females & claim his territory. They matethen he peaces out (as some men do ...).She makes nest: mud & sticks call itsingle-mom ingenuity. She lays up to 90 eggsincubates & waits months for young to hatchIf baby cannot break shell on its ownshe takes egg in mouth gently does itherself. These newborns instinctivelyknow how to catch their own food butthey can't yet protect themselves from predators.so the mother defends her offspring from a fatherwho eats everything — his young included —if he ever gets hungry enough to come back.A poem from Tasting Like Gravity, the latest collection by Florida's poet laureate, Peter Meinke.A Poet Looks at the Largest MoonA poet's moved in on our blockHe unclasps his pony-tail and sleepsin a deep magenta hammock from YucatanBooks spill over the floor and sofaHe eats acorns picks mushroomsfrom the neighborhood lotIn early morning he nets mulleton the bay across the streetBoys jump off the busyelling Hey d'you smoke pot?They toss bags of garbage on his small bed of wild bergamotAt home after sunset stillsmelling of fish he drinks tea on his porchtoasting the swollen moonas it tips the benighted stars on top of usand writes his poemA poem from the anthology All We Know of Pleasure: Poetic Erotica by Women, edited by poet and fiction writer Enid Shomer.The 4-Barrel Carburetor On a '72 Chevy CamaroBy Lorna Dee CervantesHe could make love like a 4-barrelcarburetor on a '72 ChevyCamaro. Man, he could go. Pumping upthe pistons, discharging with a growl.He wasn't all that to look at, mostly gleamingchrome and wire. Slick in the upholsteryand revved. He was a 2-bucket seatpalace, a chariot of wiles. He wascoming back. He was a place off the map.He was coming home and he was moving.He was a reserved parking space, a handicappedspot on the heart. He was a ticketwaiting to be written, a stop-on-a-dime promise of forgiveness. He couldpick up in the alley, carry away on the charmof his engine. All the draft on a knifepoint of design and desire, his get upand go: his knack.