sun beats
  wind leaps

blood memory

apocalyptic self-image crystallized affections of pious solace
                                         emptiness from this ceaseless war

I want to sin
against purity

bliss hovering above the void
haptic fallout feverish blood

sun beats down
wind leaps
blood memory
cheerful obscene boredom


                    singing with a hard fist
          life’s benevolent corruption
everything is hard against the tongue
everything dissolving
into otherworldly paradise
make heaven my home
I never learn my lesson

Copyright © 2021 by Precious Okoyomon. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 29, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

so many fuckless days and nights
only the solitary fox
watching my window light
barks her compassion.
i move away from her eyes.
from the pitying brush
of her tail
to a new place and check
for signs. so far
i am the only animal.
i will keep the door unlocked
until something human comes.

from the terrible stories (BOA Editions, 1996). Copyright © 1996 by Lucille Clifton. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company on behalf of BOA Editions.