You Can’t Kill Me, Imma Bad Bitch
Even with the blade still fresh with my red. You could
drip, even dagger & twist, but the angels still sing
for me. Telling a Black queer they’ve died —
from natural causes or anyone else’s glock nine —
is saying we lived & you can’t erase that. After all
these years of cuffing, refusals to cuff,
bluffing on us, you still see me in these
streets, & memes, & sheets. Isn’t the refusal
to let go of our matter in a world
that gives crumbs to us
the making of a life? Isn’t our life
the making of a feast? They eat us up,
honey. We stick up
gender. Tell him & her give us something better.
When you have so many days,
& lessons written in permanent marker
(just to make it harder to deny your beautiful
existence) how could you ever die?
Imma bad bitch. With my grip
on everything considered culture. & every strength
passed through generations of red pumps. So live, baby.
Get from point A to point B. But first,
you have to walk for me.
KB Brookins is a poet, essayist, and cultural worker from Texas. They are the author of How To Identify Yourself with a Wound (Kallisto Gaia Press, 2022), Freedom House (Deep Vellum Publishing, 2023), and Pretty (Alfred A. Knopf, 2024). Follow them online at @earthtokb.