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Desire like a strong belted man leans over the faucet

to wash its face in the morning after, glowing & slowly

entering the world, the fingers lighting up like night flora.

I come to you, dressed in nothing but myself. Imagining

a day were you anoint my body the way I want you to.

Damned in the valley of sweet remembrance, how the claiming of a thing, like desire, makes the breath hot,

heals the wounded mint tree. O, Desire. Put your bladed tongue on my back, import something kind, something

I've been needing in night, praying to the siege of a waning moon, a mystic searching & sweating in the desert.

I am Helen, you are my Troy. I am waiting for you.

Travis Tate

is a queer, black playwright, poet and performer from Austin, Texas. Their poetry has appeared in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Underblong, Mr. Ma’am, apt, and Cosmonaut Avenue among other journals. Maiden, their debut poetry collection, is out on Vegetarian Alcoholic Press. They earned an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers. You can find more about them at

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