Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

Travis Tate

after this the night still falls


in the night, the moon called to four boys / on a porch much like the ones / seen in sitcoms, a small
staircase leading to / a haven of things that / can so easily burn. / these boys sat & kneeled & prayed / & dreamt on this porch that one / day they would be men. / the night tells them that one day they / won't be at all. & the day agrees & / the badges on the shirts of white / men follow the night's orders, trained dogs at weak wired fences.

but they cackle harder

& tears fill their / laughter / & their laughter sounds a whale to shore.
& in their laughter, / their sexes engorged at the thought of / being next to three other witches.

their fingers vogue in the wind / at dangerous speeds. they call down / demons & spirits. They delight in / their prayers / a vigil candle lit for all the / brown boys & their mothers / that lay in a heap at the back of their minds.

& in the boys' eyes, / dreams

Of leather & harnesses / & trips sped by in silver Hondas & the dream of a / love everlasting & a soft / caress & a bearded jest / & of power & of a coffin / cascading in gold

& in their shirts, / hearts

beating well into the night, / a grateful, unprecedented gift.


Travis Tate is queer black playwright, poet and performer from Austin, Texas. He is a M.F.A. candidate at the Michener Center for Writers at The University of Texas at Austin studying playwriting and poetry.