August 16th, 2016

by Malik Thompson

We’re in this city park,
night-drenched, my dewed scalp
pulsating beneath your finger pads.
It’s so dark, I fail to see the distance,
vision obscured with shadows &
branches in an undulatory mid-August
dance. I believe I can bloom
in this fortressed quiet, though
I can hear your heart
slamming itself against your chest.

‘…a one time thing…only
for your birthday…’ you murmur
above a heaving ribcage.

Praise be to the body’s honesty,
however quickly it may ash.
Praise be to the largest
star and our orbit around it. Praises
to the way one boy can touch another,
salvation almost grasped
in his hungering palms.


Malik Thompson is a Black queer man proud to be from DC. He is a poet, photographer, and loves studying queer artistic genealogies. His work has been published in Split This Rock’s Poem of the Week series and is awaiting to hear from other publications. You can find his thoughts on literature at his Instagram account @negroliterati.

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