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A Poem By Nicholas Goodly

Black Mecca

Magic city, little trap,
you are a mess of tonguing brass.
a lap of slack jaws open in your wake
as fire boys jive in your sugarcane song.
a coat of muddy lard thickens the air,
every crevice on our bodies are wet.
The nights are purple and dutifully leaning.

The way we slow is growing tasteless and we
are chasing the perfect catfish, we are go-
ing for the birthday candle dragonfly.
You keep with your flower bodies and stink.
I want you to be as mean as jasper
and we are chewing shards of lapis and
one thing wants another and everything stays

One thing wants another and everything stays
repeat after me, repeat after me,
how sweet and vulgar and backward
and heat a flame robe eats you,
here it comes. Take a whiff
of your bubbling nose, we
are in here together, a black peach pie

Let’s hear it for the bitters,
in drink and in men. For the men
like doors that smile and open,
for the ones with hot garnet in their veins,
Let’s go back to my place. There is an oven
I call home, lay me on a sapphire grill.
Tell me you can taste the lovin’.

Tell me you can taste the lovin’
as much as the street is pavement. Look
how it’s made us an inevitable bean.
The streetlights outweigh the stardrip. I am
learning to say the alphabet in confidence.
I remember those days as lined sleek socks

You are no pelican.
You’ve been my place for cooking men.
Children are squirming in your pores.
You are a home for amethyst dogs.
What a thing to witness. Magnolia petals
storm the streets like ferocious pearl swans.
Its pretty blindness, its cooing snare.


Nicholas Goodly is a teaching fellow at Columbia University and is the writing editor of WUSSY Magazine. He has also been published in Anamesa Journal, Poetry Pacific and Cactus Heart and forthcoming in Lambda Literary Online.

Photo by Jordan Sommerlad

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