Astaghfirullah: A Kiss Before Dying

by pronounced "ahhh" like a sigh

astaghfirullah*: A kiss before dying
*I beg Allah for forgiveness 

you render me useless this side of morning
it’s more than the weight of left leg
draped heavily against right
more than muscled shoulders
tattooed with sweat
and last night’s perfume
or the locks wrapped around your fist
pinned against sheets
cooling from wet

i want to struggle and roll into the part of this
i own
but my last lover was so slight of a man
that he crushed my lungs with his indifference
i still haven’t learned to exhale properly

you are thick bundles of muted air

and when the silence and shadows 
hit your face
more like him than i care to be responsible for

still, i welcome your weight
the obscene arrogance of your manhood
bass and jazz song voice

we laugh about grown folks business
avoid the truth so often
we forget it exists
astaghfirullah

I welcome you a trapped,
unfinished verse
read on borrowed time

I can hear the breath escape in shudder
And hesitation
Even in sleep
fight this everything
That could destroy the world with our union

Delicate balance of secrets and trumpets
I long to stretch angle cut of glass
And cheek
brass and bone
Burn me stubble of stubborn promised beard
Twisted plum lips
inviting
This regrettable love song

This Brooklyn impossible
This wrong side of the tracks affair
This pebbled stone and grit
This wish that you
Would wake under the swollen pull
That begs for you

Let me whisper this wish into the last star before morning:
kiss me like we are dying
like time travelers seeking home
beneath tangled tongues and clicking teeth
no, kiss me like I’m dying
allow me feed on the flesh of this bottom lip
you, ripe fruit of a mouth

take hold this treaty between
breath and heartbeat
the war is in the longing
the
quiet
let’s not sully this with questions
of fidelity
or love

own it flat
peppered
crust and mortar
lust and anger
fuck me like an inappropriate love song
naked with the ghost of your rejected youth
the first encouraged broken shards of heart
the second, fed it to her next lover
while you watched
the last bore you a mirror
that reflects your father
you love her so much; it smells like a well crafted hatred
and I’m here
struggling against the nothing we created
twice already
twice more before the sun returns home
before I return home

we are more alike than
I can respect myself for

So for just a moment, the clock on the window
will read 4:58,
the sky will split open
spilling morning onto this sacred city block
4:59, i will roll over
And whisper
i love you like it was the responsible thing to do
5:00 is when it must end
roll back and search for last night in the still dark of bedroom
allow your weight to shift
freeing the serpentine locks from the prison of the last hour

beg the door
then your sleeping back for answers
this staying or going

i find your hand still lost in sleep
oblivious to this tugging
slide everything side up
again

invite the weight
return to the quiver at the end of tactile fingertips
serving one more sacred sacrifice
a salah into the morning
one more honest prayer before god wakes
an offering
an understanding
something like
one more hallowed and
careful hallelujah
before the sun

astaghfirullah

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