i cannot fault baryshnikov

clean, like you left me
on the bed untouched
for the sake of faithfulness–
leaving me without trust,
without blind belief, without

once the sleepy poppin
n’ lockin dark prince of
thick lashes and let-me eyes
in semidarkness,

once the flicker of hazelnut cream-scented
candles turning the cliche of your
chocolate silk skin
into a laughless joke spiced
with the kind of tenderness
i cried to suppress;

once the first magnetized
memory of africa smoldering
heat like black sun underneath my blanket,
large hands, delicate hips,
chiaroscuro and a study in contrasts–
white attitude, black skin, dark attitude,
light outlook:

once a lover,
now a dazed concept already let go
a new low in my climate,
once the sole reason for the clench of my thighs
as my clit stirred painful and voracious
to abuse;

now reduced to rapid blinking,
new loneliness
and– popping my safe-sex cherry
amid blushes beneath brown cheeks
and imagined stares:

a useless box
of thirty-six condoms
in my top drawer.


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