Moonstruck & Other Poems
the city below is red-wounded burning.
purple haze fentanyl-laced, she tap dances on a cliff-face
the sort of thing you could fall in love with:
can’t sing, can’t dance, can’t right, but Good God girl, where off earth
Did you Come from?
No more than a baby with a wandering eye
letting two-cent morality from the boy on your right
goad you into cutting your throat
for his pictures.
You were made in better hands than that.
sinead o’connor moon, barefoot in eastern ether
shrieks too late to stop what white rogue scorpion
to Joshua tree heaving comets cross the sky
faster than god can blink –
fearsome fingersmith races seven-legged toward me.
Her heart is shrapnel in my lip her heart a pelt of gunmetal stars
quivering cold, lonesome as god’s revolver
like mint deliquesced and pooled on the floor of
her mouth, a mouth which inverts all known laws.
this altitude defangs us, and makes us feral
take me to that infinity pink ripe with pears green with wishing
where birth collapses death where cataracts never bloom
where we covet one another like knives
where summer imploded,
and the ochards ranneth over, and nine of the seven days
we was plagued.
take me somewhere where the teeming meek inherited a rancid earth,
where this poem is not self-conscious
and has already coughed the water out of its lungs,
and is ready to begin where patience begets savagery
somewhere where my sweet tooth is a passing reference
to my lack of self-restraint.
somewhere where, with a face like that, you better turn to poetry.
Nailah Mathews is a nonbinary Black poet to whom books and Black lives matter. A 2022 Periplus Fellow, their poetry has been featured in Tilde~A Literary Journal, Lucky Jefferson, Passenger Journal, and Penumbra Literary and Art Journal among others. You can read their work at nailahwritesnovels.com.
*Image by Nick Owuor on Unsplash