A Vigil by Michael L. Counter Jr.

A stack of quilts blankets one corner of our bedroom
Soiled with stories of who we were
When we danced on the moon and drank the stars—
Morning burrowed into our best dreamt memories and lit our days on fire

Leafing through old photos once hung threadbare on walls where you’d press into me words that licked calm a roaring pride
No man’s hands turned my cheek so swift secrets slapped black and blue…like you
When we danced on the moon and drank the stars—

This absinthe love steals from me
Senselessly I fall
Where no crystal stair stay standing but for your hands
Lightning strikes but once but you…

many times my earth-brown skin mourned
bruised kisses in hail pelleted from eyes spent
tracing your shadow in moonlight
before the storm

When we danced on the moon and drank the stars—
I hurt and didn’t care.

Michael L. Counter Jr., is a poet, US Air Force vet, and doctoral candidate at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where his research looks at the intersections of race and gender performance in contemporary visual arts and pop culture media. As a black queer yoga teacher and modern dancer, he teaches body positivity workshops and gives talks on the role and importance of self care in activism and community work. His writing has appeared on Buzzfeed, Dallas South News, Vagabond City Lit, and in Confluence, the literary journal for the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs. Follow Michael @writeyogalove on Twitter and Instagram.

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