Harder, he pants into the scruff of my neck, our labored breath
condensing as my lover pulls my hips into wolfish grind.
From a distance, we are two curs fogging a parked Chrysler,
though this, only half-accurate. In our nest, we transcend sex
-ed things, white-hot spangles like dead gods, the glow of us
pulsing brighter & brighter in turn. I have never shouted before,
but this is how he wets my nose—open, like a howl, a deafening
unhinging of worship—from the back—this, the way he whines—
throwing his head in praise. It is ancient composition, how we fever
the dark’s bones, convince the night to do our bidding.
We collapse into each other. The moon of him eclipsing
the fullness of me, the rift of us unfolding unto new darkness
& what are we but ravenous? Here, we devour dusk, suckle
sides of cosmic gristle, mouths brimming, tearing the sky, Black.

Copyright © 2023 by Willie Lee Kinard III. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 9, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets. 

[a do-over]
for Mr. Douglas

been screamin all night          god      why daddy gone
dress all distress(d)    hair dyin          fo(r) a com(b)
tussy done los(t) its hold on her         her stank
                                    bruh try to lif(t) her off flo(or)  but cant

ma’dear say    leave her on de flo{or) we late
            dress steam(d)-press(d)         miss-my-man bake(d) on her face
                        & den her yell  joe we leavin   den stan(d) still
                                    her forgot dat quic(k)              her man’s deff real-real

now ma’dear join sis’belle screamin on flo(or)
dey cabaret to prove who luv(d) joe mo(re)

Copyright © 2023 by avery r. young. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 20, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.

my love is black though my love is not black ::
think the darkness cradling the milky way ::
imagine quick light flowing down the back
of my throat, glowing—i swallow the day ::

my love is black, an absorbing array
of colors :: gold yolk escaping the cracked
shell :: a shiny silver moon-coin to play ::
a juicy peach, plump plums, cup of cognac ::

my love is black, the only way i know
to live :: now fierce and demanding, now free
and unpossessed :: so for my magnet, my
love becomes steel, then, for my butterfly,
will not a flower but a whole field be ::
my love and my blackness together go—

Copyright © 2023 by Evie Shockley. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 1, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.