Do-rag by Phillip B. Williams


O darling, the moon did not disrobe you.

You fell asleep that way, nude

and capsized by our wine, our Bump

‘n’ Grind shenanigans. Blame it

on whatever you like; my bed welcomes

whomever you decide to be: thug-

mistress, poinsettia, John Doe

in the alcove of my dreams. You

can quote verbatim an entire album

of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

with your ass in the air. There’s nothing

wrong with that. They mince syllables

as you call me yours. You don’t

like me but still invite me to your home

when your homies aren’t near

enough to hear us crash into each other

like hours. Some men have killed

their lovers because they loved them

so much in secret that the secret kept

coming out: wife gouging her husband

with suspicion, churches sneering

when an usher enters. Never mind that.

The sickle moon turns the sky into

a man’s mouth slapped sideways

to keep him from spilling what no one would

understand: you call me God when it

gets good though I do not exist to you

outside this room. Be yourself or no one else

here. Your do-rag is camouflage-patterned

and stuffed into my mouth.