sporklet 14

Prince Bush


I could barely close the door that day; the tabby came so near,

Almost closed his tail, picked and moved him up, did that cohere

To me texting, though I swore not to? My brain a sphere

Of scheme, wonder, and wish, my bottomless object, his rear

To a shut door, while we steep in entwined bicep and back, near

The futon, feigning deep affection. Why can’t I steer

Toward cessation, acquiesce his air kisses are toxin,

Tumult and risk—I want to visit, state I lost my socks—

I leave this, and keep leaving, but my want is oxen,

Paradox, xenocryst—ardor from outer space, outside clocks

I tend to stick to. Gay sex is certified, but what about those lovers

Buried beside each other—discovered to be men—the lying “soldiers,

Cousins, or brothers?” What about gay black love, my hobby horse,

What we’d stand for, concealed in Trojan together, till my voice is hoarse?

Gay and/or Black

Well, I’ve been gray not quite black
By you who have painted me
Blent with red, blue, and yellow:
A black widow’s hourglass,
Komodo dragon, Komodo dragon
Tongue, like I’ve bit your water
Buffalo with blood poisoning
Spit, and will wait centuries
For them to sicken so I can devastate,


As though I’m a camouflage breed
And can look like you instead
Of at best being you. Dead alike,
We could’ve shot each other 
And posted it as doppelgängers
On threads, but I’m solely a stack of sticks
End rhyming with opponent—I don’t want to
Repeat what you bawled up and threw


At our face, flared nose a blowtorch,
Full lips scaly with grave G
And E musical notes guarding you
From me so that we pop
6 feet from each other gassing in our insides,
As if we died in the same place but not
Close enough to die grasping each other.
We were best friends, intimate before


I told you, sometimes, strangers
In stiff climates—1,000 times 1,000
Years, before I could escape. I resent
Convincing any of you, that
I belong, too, to vulnerable
Populations, that I am as human, could be
As venomous as you, as you think.

On Truth

Though it’s usually odorless, it is so
Concentrated, it might stink scooting


Down the road of my tongue;
Produce more methane than cows,


Which are more like trumpets with thinking
The climate is changing


Because of the air that comes out
Their pipe and got wrong which


Key; be fatter than breathing nitro-
And oxygen, prescribed for my fire-


Place chest, getting me hyper-
Oxia, Planum, sick with martian craters


An ExoMars rover discovers,
My irritated trachea, my hopes up


Weighing a third less, higher but still
Falling; fall out of my mouth into tears


And turn into acid, last a thousand years
In Earth, memory; cause frostbite, burn,


Flush my skin, or leave me alone—

For Warmth

I used to sleep with men
That would hold me
Like a gun and shoot


A pillow in my mouth,
Trigger our shared P


TSD: the cold shade
Of delusion made them


Reptilian and made me wet
Fish, both woman and man;
Totally sleep deprived;


The spring inside me
Broken, so broken they’d need


A real rifle to hunt my
Brain coupling body,
Beginning to cry


For warmth.

Prince Bush is a poet and current MFA student at Western Kentucky University. He was a 2019 Bucknell Seminar for Undergraduate Poets Fellow, an Erastus Milo Cravath Presidential Scholar at Fisk University, nominated for the Pushcart Prize (“Uncivil”), and a finalist for the 2020 Sundress Publications Chapbook Contest.