Malik Thompson



consider the feathers
emerging from the throat
of our librarian.
perfect black
feathers of a raven.
early summer
in the dry
country. he would speak
to me, & then
he would not.


after the storm,
after the rampage
of lightning.
wave upon wave
of overgrowth
erupting from slabs
of broken pavement.
archive of singed memory,
archive of crimson mist.


through tattered maps
I’ve found you at last,
once stranger.
from the hand
of an almost-friend.


through whispers
of light emitted
from the meadow’s
blue-green border,
I touch his archive
of neck-feathers,
I touch the overgrowth
emerging from
the downy side
of your hand.
early summer
map out of brittle
loneliness, mist
of broken promises
& darker grass.


I know you
even less
although we’ve grown
closer. hours
I’ve spent
staring into
the singed canopy
of your mind.
three seasons
in the dry country,
three seasons
of small pink flames.






Malik Thompson is a Black queer man from Washington, DC. His work is featured, or forthcoming, in Cobra Milk, Sundog Lit, Diode, MQR Mixtape, Oroboro, Poet Lore, and other places. He has received support from Lambda Literary, Obsidian Foundation, Brooklyn Poets, Cave Canem, and other organizations. He can be found on Instagram via the handle @latesummerstar