Midnight is my first emotion, then starscream, bloodlust—
an impulse to sink my fangs into the nearest man’s
neck. Shotgun shells explode beneath my window,
dragging me from the grip of a ragged slumber—
the winds of this rotting city drenched in gunsmoke.
A full moon sways in an ink-stain sky, pinholes
gaping where stars should be. The should-be stars
murmuring hymns of lunacy.
Black fur bursts from my back, pupils tilting
upward into slits, irises glowing an ungodly color.
I bellow an ash cloud from my feathered throat, &
my lungs swell to bear this vortex of blackened air. Born
non-white & queer, call the creature what it be: flamer,
bitch-boi, uppity wet dream of the dinge queen.
Lucifer, light-bringer exiled to an abyss
of brimstone, teach me to kneel at the feet
of Sodom’s charred altar. To rummage
through my shadow’s misted borders & cradle
the ripped snout of my innermost beast. To be
legion, chimera, another abomination wandering
toppled cities strewn with flowers of splintered bone.
Added: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 / Used with permission.
Malik Thompson is a cis Black queer man from Washington, DC. Malik is a poet, nonfiction writer, and unapologetic bibliophile. When not selling books at Loyalty Bookstore, you can find Malik reading Toni Morrison, at a dance party, playing a JRPG, or leading a poetry workshop. You can follow Malik's Instagram account @negroliterati to find his thoughts on books.