Aubade: Nocturne

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. 

About this Poem

“I was meditating on love songs and desire in the pastoral when a tarot card-based prompt seduced me into thinking more intently about the Star card and the sonnet that I sketched afterward. It took to the sounds first. A silhouette pair’s mythos swelling. Projections of anonymity unfurling instantly. Emerging, vanishing, merging again, five-limbed forms sang in my ear as holy as biblical accuracy; the lilts, dangerous and all too familiar. Candidly, we know this dance. Another pair in the Major Arcana: risk in air, longing salting their brow. Boris Gardiner sound bites in primordial truth. Tires’ whistle-groove at seventy-nine beats per minute.”
Willie Lee Kinard III