Young Americans Tongue-Touching in The Basement Party Right Before The Apocalyptic End

and she reaches behind her back to turn up the Frank Ocean track,

her tongue still pressed into another girl’s, both their hips split open

like a split-open-something and the world ends. the world ends with

the mocked sound coming from the sofa where two other young americans

pretty-fuck each other into an ember of green-gold good-got passion. the world

ends. the small girl with her septum pierced is python-skinned and python-eyed

–blue, opaque, throatless–and all the young americans push their bodies

into one another in their intimate attempts to concede. and the world ends.

and someone wields a wedding song, lays it down like a chiffon curse

draped over a gazebo, the whole sky an orange and opening mouth,

the deciduous trees leafing small corpses, the small corpses stuck in the teeth

of the mouth of the sky. and the world ends. someone says grace against

a wavelength of violet light. everyone drinks a bottle of hairspray and

their insides electrify. someone tacks decayed rose petals to the wall,

someone strikes on a string of christmas lights, the basement is gorgeous

and swelling with their bodies, their veins luminous and the basement a city

skyline and pine and dust and the world ends. and the world ends. and the world

ends in bright white ecstasy, everyone screaming the names of the lover who is not

loving them presently but is in the same room loving someone else. the lover

loving presently still sucks on the collarbone despite what they have been called.

after the world ends, we call this empathy. after the world ends, we call it kindness,

give new names to our old intimacies: call a hand-hold a french kiss,

call a bitch-slap a prayer. at the basement party, all of the young americans

have grinded one another into soft gold. the christmas lights flicker.

the girls kiss the girls with their mouths open,

their pink muscles tied and tying.


M. Mick Powell is a queer black femme feminist poet. Her poems and essays have been published or are forthcoming in Winter Tangerine, The Feminist Wire, Apogee Journal, Nat. Brut, and others. Mick’s chapbook chronicle the body was released by Yemassee Journal in March 2019. In her free time, Mick enjoys talking about beauty products, bodies, Beyonce, and baked goods.