The BOI Rushes To, by MARS

feat. Frank Ocean

 Saturdays involved making out entrances into life outside / we’ve been in this room too long / recreation
 is keeping us self-contained and aware / of each other’s form

 Another love becomes ghost & that’s cliché but true
 Her hair scattered across my bathroom, bedroom                      floors. 
 Door the shape of her frame, voice echoing                                 in my blood chambers 
 A body not yet full is easily consumed                                       a body not yet full is a question 
 good reason for leaving                                                                I am to blame 
 She more fleeting than I’d like for her to be                               brief history 
 we loved once and that became a fog filled night                    loud silence 
 once we asked what if, question becoming spell                     sweet ghost
 haunting the halls of my lonely, whispering of all                      I deserve 
 while naming me an unworthy beast.



 Son who leave / the son who leaves
 a weighted sky calls my mother to prayer /her/ near God listening amongst the noise 
 my body covered in Christian magic saved despite –
 I, a BOI once her pink miracle given /her/ name & wishing well of a tongue, I pray – 
 to be poured into the body she didn’t choose for me sweet Black son hiding in the shadow of
 himself, once – a scripture tumbled from my soft lips & I awoke the next morning with my father’s face wide grin /his/ boyish charm, the woman asleep next to me  
 nothing like my mother / 
 her/ hardened spine faithfulness, instead a graceless woman calls me hers & forgets to add temporarily I stay listen closely to the whistling pines find my mother in a 
 field weeping among 
 them & when I bring /her/ face close to mine she says come home come home though I never left, I point to the sun and whisper I’ve always been close so close


 And rewind it back one more / the tape stopped before I was back alone 

 If I had the crown of a peacock                      I could ward off every predator  
 all the ill-intentioned loves                              knocking at the front door 
 the I in my BOI loves so badly                         sometimes I mean I love myself 
 most times I am just strange                            
 I love just as my mother taught me
 with the faith of a mustard seed I 
 mean I trusted the metaphor, that
 faith and prayer could yield a vast 
 love, a last love –all my BOIshness
 cradled in her midnight sky eyes –  


               And had this been the past I might not know / What to do with all / of what you've showed
               What you give, my words can’t hold / 
 every way we fall short and keep running into a sun
 set far more beautiful than the story we could tell 
 and yes, we all try we do – 
 to give, to receive.

MARS is a writer and cultural organizer born and raised in Detroit, MI. Their work has been published in the Lambda Literary Art anthology Emerge, Foglifter Journal, Gertrude Press, The Shade Journal, and elsewhere. MARS is a 2021 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow and a 2019 Lambda Literary Art Emerging Writers Fellow in Poetry. They work as the Director of the Allied Media Conference.