Two brooches for the price of lint.
Dolls boxed beneath hung tees.
Blonde & black-haired amputees.
Fifty-cents for a record. I hold Sade
in this slipshod room of other people’s ghosts.
A Black boy faces me across the aisle,
his face pressed to the wilted trees
of an old paperback,
his eyes manganite sequins
flirting behind turquoise specks.
I look at Sade. Dust huddles at Diamond Life’s edge,
& I imagine my mother’s Camaro, 1984 blooming
through the speakers smooth as a curve into the friend zone.
His eyes make my ears ring, the Black boy.
I’ll call him Sundream,
& he’s still watching & sniffing pages,
first breath in a field of orphaned flutes,
a shredded denim prayer slung
across his shoulders, rising temper-brief.
His whole vibe a hybrid genre
of high-art & audiovisual honey
I want to say hello.
but I’ve never seen a mainstream TV show
where two Black gay boys
survive the mid-season finale
& I’ve never seen a movie
where two Black gay boys slow-dance
on anything but graves
so maybe this quiet storm of retro love
songs between us is doing me a favor.
I pull the vinyl from its sleeve, bring it to my face
smell dusty tuxedo locked in an old man’s attic.
I put it back, drop the record, keep my head down
& move on to the VHSs,
wishing I could describe Sundream in a GIF,
mannequin sprung to life only to hark the R&B angel.
He walks past, sweet smell of
brown-sugared ribs furloughed to the hashtag of fashion
& I want him to be the first Black boy I ever take home.
The first black boy I ever undress & stare into like a mirror.
Cover Art by Siri Margaret Stensberg