a machine of mahogany and bronze
from Slingshot 

Cyree Jarelle Johnson


In the night I filled his dimples with milk
brilliant thimbleful, then again, again           a sturdiness
on whose oakstead arms               I swing.


A preener for the guillotine           the brush & comb & droplet & spritz pulled
forever over the swoop of his edges
in anticipation of every potential open casket


gaping for even small defiances.               I’ve spent dream-days
sipping cream from his melting jawline
licking the grave-dust from hooves of suede and steel-toe.


I’m prepared to tear one-thousand additional mornings        body angled over
treacherously inadequate cushions                                   sucking saltwater
lazing forth from his diligent navel.


Atlantic be damned.                      Sluice your volume
through every of our new-broken windows               pierce
as we do—with sin, with everyday, with a wholeness.


My ouroboros & rupture                        my undoing onto death’s
custard pus              make of me your swept bloat, sunlight burst
marrow fruit. Steep me in your murderous light               here, in this bed
growl no threat              arrive with the stun of your knife.