black love

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.

About this Poem

“When Guest Editor Patricia Smith told me she wanted to gather some ‘Black love sonnets’ for February, I immediately started thinking about the relationships among those three words. The poem began then and there.”
Evie Shockley