honey, ash

IMG_20190513_101448 by Dominick Knowles

a splinter of light piercing me
from behind—

i move like a humbled bird across the floor.

i’m writing poems again
with god’s upturned palm
against the back of my thigh.

a sweet wind like honey and ash
coats the latitude of my throat,
lungs & stomach thick
with the warm syrup of speech.

gently, kindly, god moves his hand
along the curve of my ass, teasing
its pores, loosening the muscles.

he places a poem inside me,
pulls it out. pushes the poem
back in until it runs
slack between my legs.

it occurs to me that this is a form of prayer.

so i begin to read the poem aloud to him,
and wake alone to the breath of slow cars
passing under my window at night,
a cross of honey and ash
smudged across my forehead.

Dominick Knowles is a queer poet and Ph.D. student in English at Brandeis University. Their areas of study include modernist literature, Marxist critique, and the poetry of the radical Left. Their essays have appeared in Viewpoint Magazine & Modernism/modernity Print Plus; their poems have appeared in several independent publications.

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