Dawn Defeats Dark

A place fit for the Devil
to say morning prayers at night.
          —Gawain1

                    i.

The scent of you on my beard
and the taste of us both in
my mouth, this tongue tracing epiphanies, this
writer of destinies, observer of deeds, recorder
of future histories, devourer of seed, for
now how he won’t speak, only experience
until satiety says fulfillment has been reached,
each of these muscles our lips’ meaty
secretaries, pink emissaries witnessing in their nocturnal
emissions what happens in the space between
breath, spittle’s little death journeying rivulets pooling
into kisses wet evidence of the crime,
of the instance, of our heat transferring,
embracing spirits entangling, knotting souls knitted into
the clothes of two crushed cherries whose
crimson flesh twists off, rushing the way
black boxer-briefs do falling to black-socked feet
creaking blond-wood floors greet, these walls blind,
discreet to our obscenities, manifesting to manifold

                    ii.

realities many man-musked fantasies to expose what
we told our Selves we’d never let
our other lovers ever know, that without
them fondness grows until, in fits of
infatuation, anticipation of being taken makes them
both explode, and now we grow, not
old but florid as prose purpled by
pens bruising it, this moment this lyric
attempts to capture, to transpose in song
how it goes down, what will go
on, to pin down the way wings
are wounded becoming specimens, butter flying off
the gristle of my fur’s tickle, this
forest of mine my face’s wilderness my
body covers its mysteries with, that your
fingertips and eyelashes fluttering pluck from my
pelt’s rustic rubrication manuscript tufts your touch
trusts as I hold you to my
chest, nose groping for gospel what notes

                    iii.

of my fragrance your satisfaction with this
embrace voices, entrained as we have been,
to hide our delight from our own
sight, eyes closed even behind closed doors
in the thick of night, that by
scent and taste and touch alone we
might behold what sound your moans muffled
reserve their testimony to protect from thieving
ears what bandit baby blues would likely
get off on getting away with, this
coming together of two guys whose lust
for life we believe we must hide
from the light, but for once, for
the first time, dawn defeats dark as
mine writes on the rice paper of
a window à-la-bastard by strokes of sunrise,
what shadow declines to describe what burns
inside, this ardour filling our bedchamber with
sighs too heavy to deny those whose

                    iv.

glimpses their exhaled burden mists, frosts glass
to unmask how well last night went,
while tonight we exert its worth in
showers of lightning liquefied to ivory lakes
poets less invested in its viscous divinity
likened to melting wax, this winter-white liquor
satisfying one another blasts the way passion
from furnaces emerges explosive as a new
day, fevers across the chill of our
tangled limbs calming convulsions of time expertly
spent by translating to silent language understood
only when felt how good it feels
to be released of secrets those who
refuse to believe in us taught should
be kept, this is friendship caught without
his armour, with his guard torn off,
the way our comfort with our Selves
turns to prayers all of their slurs,
love no longer rehearsed but performed live.

__________
1The anonymous, so-called ‘Gawain’-Poet, The Green Knight, “[Cycle] IV”, Stanza 8, Lines 2187–2188, adapted from the Middle English of the original in The Green Knight: Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Bernard O’Donoghue: Foreword by David Lowery: Previously published as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, published at New York by Penguin Books in 2021; page 68.