One Poem by KB

You Can’t Kill Me, Imma Bad Bitch

after Pose


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, 
& pain, 
& 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.