Robert E. Randolph, Jr.


“Somebody Gave Me This Madness”

Aint it painful to feel an itch coming, knowing full well you aint gon
be able to scratch it. ej raines

When we fuck, I think to myself
trembling: men disappear
and this is how it happens—
with gentle weeping
and the gnashing of teeth.

I stake my claim gloriously with
idiolectic tongue, hungry fingers,
open palms. I chase your voice
on the water, whispers of red,
salted and deep.

Listen to my heart. What’s inside
surprises even you: these lips
settling in for a night’s work,
rotation of hips like the sprawling cosmos.

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