The Black Napkin Volume 1 Issue 5 - Page 29


black tulip and baby's breath

The boy is April, gods

know. Captive

ink beneath the skin

of biceps and shoulder blades, ink

distilled from coal dust, from glossy

petals of the black tulip powdered

fine, the stars’ satin backdrop. Fur

framing his white teeth is black, black

the leather straps about his wrists

and ankles, gag-knotted inside

his ivory grin. Black the hairy sun-

bursts circling areolas, bushing about

the loins, around the hot gates,

along the narrow entrance

to Elysium. His lips

brush my knees like blossoms, white

foam of baby’s breath

and surrender, white bucking

across my lap, a tremble and a sob

threaded with fine black

hairs, a cloud of belt-stung

bruises and the sheen

of broken mica. His breast-

bone’s the Plain of Mars,

between twin hills crowned

with scarlet signal fires.

The metal I ratchet about

his wrists is night edged

tight with rust. Spirea petals,

wind-torn, snag like drool

in his belly hair’s black,

a dusting of flour, wheat

seeds planted pecker-deep.

His neck bows over tongue-

wet boots, tulip too heavy

for its stem.